Charmin encourages fans to #EnjoytheGo with mobile bathroom service

When you gotta go, you gotta go--even if there's not a bathroom available in New York City. That's the problem Charmin tried to solve with a recent campaign.

Charmin encourages fans to #EnjoytheGo with mobile bathroom service

Company: Charmin (Parent: Procter & Gamble)
Campaign: Charmin Van-GO
Agency mix: MSLGroup (PR), Publicis North America (advertising), Jack Morton (experiential), Carat (paid media)
Duration: June 21 - 22
Budget: Undisclosed

Charmin gave New Yorkers the chance to summon their own personal restrooms right to the curbside this summer when it introduced the first on-demand bathroom service: Charmin Van-Go.

The brand, along with its partner agencies MSLGroup and Publicis, developed the idea and began planning for the campaign in January.

"Overall, our number one goal at Charmin is really to bring the best bathroom experience to anybody and everybody," said Angie McAuliffe, communications manager at Charmin. "For this campaign, we wanted to bring that experience to the people of New York City because the city really lacks public restrooms."

Once the campaign team aligned with the idea of creating a mobile bathroom service, the brand selected Jack Morton to do the experiential build for the vehicle. Charmin also wanted to use a celebrity spokesperson for the campaign who could channel the playful nature of the brand.

In terms of media outreach, the brand targeted tech, lifestyle, and local New York outlets. Charmin offered an exclusive about the campaign to a select outlet that would create a groundswell of consumer and media attention for the campaign launch.

The brand also created a microsite for the campaign,, which was key to the push because it included a feature people could use to enter basic personal information and call the van directly to their location.

On social, the hashtag #EnjoytheGo was used to encourage engagement.

Charmin selected Anthony Anderson, comedian and star of ABC's Black-ish. Anderson used his social accounts to promote the Van-GO service. He has nearly 500,000 followers on Twitter and more than 860,000 on Instagram, respectively.

"Talking about bathroom experiences can be uncomfortable for people, so Charmin looks at things with more of a playful edge, and Anthony is a great embodiment of that character," explained McAuliffe. "He had given an interview once where he was talking about not being able to find a restroom in New York City, which was part of the reason we chose him."

On June 20, the brand offered an exclusive sneak peek of the vehicle and service to Mashable. The outlet produced a piece that went live the next day and has been shared more than 28,000 times.

The next day, the Charmin Van-GO launched publicly in New York City and was available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through June 22. The brand published a press release on the Procter & Gamble website to announce the campaign.

That morning, Anderson engaged fans on the streets to try the Van-GO and appeared on several programs to promote the campaign, including on ABC News Online.

The brand also tapped social influencers to push social content during the Van-GO's run. Influencers included former MTV VJ and author La La Anthony, celebrity physician Doctor Mike, and fashion blogger Man Repeller.

The Charmin Van-GO campaign generated 51 original articles, 14 of which mentioned the brand's name in the headline. Notable outlets included: Mashable, People NOW, AOL, CBS and ABC.

The campaign netted the brand about 355,000 engagements across all platforms, measured through click-throughs, likes, shares, and retweets. Social influencer posts during the campaign generated nearly 160,000 likes on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Editor's note: This article previously incorrectly stated that this campaign garnered 355 million engagements. It was amended to 355,000 engagements on November 17, 2017.

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