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Charmin Returns with Public Bathrooms in NYC

By Nov 26, 2007

It’s back and it’s better than ever.

Procter & Gamble has once again opened public restrooms in New York City’s Times Square to let people sample its newly designed Charmin bath tissue.

This time, Charmin is giving people a choice of tissue. Visitors to the remodeled 20-stall restroom area can try out Charmin’s Ultra Soft tissue or Ultra Strong tissue. Attendants will service each stall after every use, the brand said.

“We thought what better way than to allow people to experience our products,” Dewayne Guy, a Charmin spokesperson, said of the new sampling effort. “It’s the perfect venue to put them in the hands of consumers.”

Actress Molly Shannon kicked off the restrooms’ opening last Monday. The stalls will be open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. with limited hours on Dec. 24 and Dec. 31.

Last year more than 420,000 people from 100 countries and 50 states visited the restrooms during the holiday season. The campaign, which the Gigunda Group is handling for the second year, won a 2007 Pro Award for the Best Campaign Generating Brand Awareness and Trial Recruitment.

At the site, Charmin set up a boutique where it is selling branded souvenirs, including T-shirts, stuffed bears, scarves, hats and gloves. Visitors can send prepaid postcards, which include a Charmin coupon, from the area to family and friends, Guy said.

People can also vote for their favorite Charmin bath tissue on site. When visitors pull down the large lever to cast their vote, a coupon for their choice will dispense from the machine.

Inside each bathroom visitors can sample the latest product from Puffs Plus tissues and obtain a coupon. Each room also includes water-conserving Kohler toilets and faucets.

The campaign includes an online component featuring a game and music downloads.

Visitors to the Charmin microsite can download their favorite Charmin tunes, including “Charmin Boogie” and “Potty Dance” or play the “Roll Toss” online game by tossing rolls of toilet paper to the Charmin Bears as fast as possible. Details about the restrooms are also available on the site.

The red and blue Charmin bears will be on site in the lounge area. Street teams dressed in red and blue outfits will direct visitors to the restrooms.

The promotion kicked off as one of Charmin’s beloved TV commercials actors died.

Dick Wilson starred as Mr. Whipple, the exasperated shopkeeper, in Charmin commercials for more than 20 years. He coined his famous statement, “Please don’t squeeze the Charmin” into a national catchphrase. He died last Monday at the age of 91.

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