During the 2007 holiday season, Charmin rolled out public restrooms in Times Square for the second year, much to the relief of tourists and New Yorkers.
To create interest in the brand, and to make sure that media interest didn't stall after the first week, Charmin turned for help to its AOR, MS&L.
In August, Charmin began offering Ultra Strong and Ultra Soft toilet tissues. It wanted to showcase those, as well as the restrooms' return, says Dewayne Guy, external relations manager for Charmin Brand.
In 2006, a couple had gotten engaged in the restrooms. "That got me thinking," says MS&L's Phillip Sontag, SVP in the global consumer-marketing group. "If someone wanted to get engaged in the restrooms, why not do a wedding in the restrooms?"
And what better for the bride to wear than a dress made of the Ultra Soft and Strong products?
MS&L found cheap-chic-weddings.com, which has a yearly contest for toilet-paper wedding gowns. The site contacted its users, and out of the responses, MS&L chose a couple from Kentucky to get married outside the bathroom stalls in Times Square.
The firm invited weekly and national media to the event, but not the public.
The press was absorbed by the wedding, with 350 million impressions over two days. In addition, "we got incredible coverage online," Sontag says.
On a larger scale, in 2007, more than 400,000 people flushed Charmin's toilets, Guy says. The effort garnered 820 million media hits over six weeks.
MS&L and Charmin are deciding whether to put in another restroom effort for 2008, and are also looking for other ways to ride 2007's wave of success.
PR team: Charmin Brand (Cincinnati) and MS&L (New York)
Campaign: The Charmin Wedding
Duration: Mid-October to mid-December 2007