Other than the safe sex/get paid ads you’d find in the back of an alternative newspaper, there are few money-making opportunities as high on the “I can’t believe I’m cashing a check for this” scale as the latest promotion by Charmin, which is putting up 10 grand for bloggers who staff their branded bathrooms in Times Square during the holiday season.
As Charmin notes on EnjoytheGo.com, the brand is seeking bloggers who like the bathroom as much as blogging to stay posted inside the facilities, “greet and entertain” restroom patrons, then blog the results, which will hopefully be more than pleas for privacy or replacement toilet paper. Naturally, these bloggers will share the posts, along with (tasteful) video, across the social-media spectrum.
All applicants for the title of Charmin Ambassador – does that make the men’s room an embassy? – are to apply in person with a photo and resume (noting quantities of fiber consumed per day, perhaps) on November 5 at the Hilton in Midtown.
CNET's Caroline McCarthy finds the whole idea rather gross, and complains Charmin is “validating and encouraging those weirdos who like to post to Twitter about bathroom visits.” However, one could hope that the brand’s due-due diligence will help select five normal people – as normal as people blogging from a public lavatory could be. After all, last year’s "Plush Potties for the People" campaign was executed without any regret.
Though the possibly squeamish McCarthy doesn’t appreciate Charmin's promotion, consider a parent, pushing a stroller-strapped kid or two through New York City, a land where the clean public toilet has gone the way of phone booth. Suddenly, nature calls, and the panicky parent, while considering sneaking into a hotel lobby or restaurant, discovers one of Charmin’s 20 “clean, deluxe, ADA-compliant, family-friendly and fully staffed restrooms.”
I know what I’d be thinking for weeks afterward: “Thank you, Charmin! For your help with my child’s number-two, you’re definitely number one.”