Why Poo-Pourri made a 2-year-old April Fools' Day prank a reality

Apparently, people really want their bathrooms to smell like tacos.

Why Poo-Pourri made a 2-year-old April Fools' Day prank a reality

Company: Poo-Pourri
Campaign: Street tacos-scented toilet spray
Duration: April 1, 2019

Consumers were disappointed to find out that Poo-Pourri’s Street Tacos bathroom deodorizer spray was fake news on April Fools’ Day 2017. To rectify the situation, this year Poo-Pourri turned the prank into a reality, allowing fans to finally mask unpleasant bathroom odors with a taco-inspired scent that, according to the company’s website, contains notes of "onion, garlic and black pepper." 

"People actually want their poop to smell like tacos."

That’s the important lesson that the 2017 prank taught the brand, said Nicole Story, Poo-Pourri’s SVP of marketing and creative.

So, in preparation for April Fools’ Day 2019, the brand returned to the concept. After confirming with the company’s product development coordinator that such a scent was possible, it was go time. 

In addition to giving customers what they wanted, Poo-Pourri’s goal was to create buzz around its products and grow its following on social media. 

"As a digital media brand, we don’t do a ton of traditional media," Story said. 

The brand usually opts for online ads and engagement instead. 

"That’s where we convert people," Story added. 

Poo-Pourri also wanted to create an opportunity to reach new influencers and fans.  

"We are in a tricky category where we’re not quite beauty and we’re not quite home," said Rachel Champlin, a senior PR director at the company. The campaign, the brand figured, would be a good way to engage with food and culture writers.

The team settled on the idea in late February 2019. On the production side, it was a mad dash to have the toilet spray ready in time. 

From a marketing standpoint, however, the team had a head start. 

"Because we’d mocked up a fake version a couple years ago, we had the artwork and copy ready," Story said. 

A week before the campaign’s launch, the company mailed select reporters and influencers a press kit, which included the Street Tacos toilet spray, so they could try it for themselves prior to the embargo date. 

On April 1, Poo-Pourri posted about the new scent on its social channels, including a link to a site where users could purchase the spray (for real this time).  

While a number of journalists and bloggers posted about the campaign, the company’s paid social media strategy was limited to a single influencer: Wells Adams, a former contestant on The Bachelorette

The first batch of 250 bottles sold out within minutes. Subsequent fans who wanted to purchase a bottle could still do so, but with the understanding that the toilet spray would take some time to produce. In the first 24 hours, an additional 250 orders had been placed. 

Poo-Pourri’s Instagram following grew by "about 600 people in one day," Story said. Meanwhile, Adams’ sponsored post generated more than 30,000 likes and 700 comments. 

The campaign also received earned write-ups from a range of media outlets, including Foodbeast, Refinery29, The Washington Post, Yahoo Lifestyle and In Touch. 

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