While New York lags behind other global cities in providing safe and clean public bathrooms, leave it to the private sector to step in and fill the void (at least temporarily). In an absolutely brilliant public relations move, Charmin is going to open a public restroom in Times Square, which will be stocked not only with TP but human attendants through Dec. 31. And of course, there is a screaming billboard telling the 15 million tourists who come to New York over the holidays where they can “Go In Style.” According to the Times article:
“Let’s face it — there aren’t a lot of environments where a bathroom tissue message is relevant,” said Dennis Legault, brand manager for Charmin. “But the message is very relevant when people really need to go.”
So true! I was wondering where I would take my dad and his wife when they visit for the hollidays, and now I’ve got the perfect spot: The 20-stall public restroom at 1540 Broadway, between 45th and 46th Streets, which — in addition to the billboard — will be advertised by people walking around Times Square dressed as toilets.
Happy flushing, New York.
It seems I’m not the only one who recognized what a brilliant PR campaign this has been for Charmin. From a story in today’s Times covering the ceremonial first flush yesterday:
“The mind boggles,” [Mayor Michael R.] Bloomberg said when asked about the Times Square event during a news conference in the Bronx. “The person that sold that is somebody I’d love to have come to work for my company.”
Tim Tompkins, the president of the Times Square Alliance, the business group that, among other things, organizes the city’s New Years Eve celebration, said, “I’ve never seen so many television cameras in my life, not even on New Year’s.”
Each bathroom has its own sink, original decor, baby-changing tables, and of course rolls of Charmin.