For the last three years, Charmin has set up free public bathrooms in the middle of New York’s Time Square. The campaign always gets a lot of buzz and Proctor and Gamble PR tells us that it has generated two billion media impressions.
This year, a new twist has been added, as people can audition to be a worker (Charmin is calling them “brand ambassadors.”) in the bathroom, and even get paid a $10,000 salary. Open auditions take place in New York on November 5th, and five people will be chosen. The restrooms are open from November 23rd to December 31st. Charmin asks that candidates, “should enjoy going to the bathroom so much – whether it be to catch up on reading or just enjoy some ‘me time’ – they never want to leave.”
We asked Laura Lewis, PR Manager of Family Care at P&G if she doesn’t mind that some media are poking fun at the contest, given that essentially it’s more press and exposure. “We’re not a believer in ‘all media is good media,’” she said. “Our role at the end of the day is to engage consumers. We know people like to work in the restrooms, and it gets more consumers involved. We do realize we’re going to get an abundance of different types of media. It’s an interesting PR challenge, how do you continue to reinvent it so it’s fresh, exciting and newsworthy each year.”
Asked about the goals of the campaign, and how they measure success, Lewis said, “We look at years prior to gauge success, we have our own internal measurement which [begins with] impressions [as the] base number, but we have other standards.” The campaign’s website: www.EnjoyTheGo.com.