I recently posted a blog (Look Before You Flush) discussing what I believed was a bad idea—coupons printed on toilet paper. And, as occasionally happens, I ruffled some feathers. Specifically, with the co-founder of Star Toilet paper. So here’s what I am going to do.
I am going to print his e-mail to me so you can read his rationale for yourself. Then I am going to make a few brief points, knowing full well that I am not going to convinced him any more than he is able to convince me. And, since this is my blog, and I get to decide when I don’t want to play anymore, that will be the end of it.
Here’s his message to me:
“Star Toilet Paper is a niche advertising company that helps businesses advertise in a cost-efficient and unique manner. We have talked to hundreds of companies and many have voiced frustration with the current advertising options since they fall victim to ad blindness, meaning their ads and coupons are not seen by prospective customers.
We believe that we can help advertisers reach a completely captured audience. Over 75% of people said they would read advertisements and coupons on toilet paper. In addition, advertisers can select a venue based on the specific demographics they wish to target. We can not only distinguish between males and females, but also between the typical demographics of the venue, whether it is an apartment building, bowling alley, or library.
Another problem with print advertising, in addition to ad blindness and high prices (whereas we have just a $5 CPM) is the inability to track advertising. We have paired print advertising and online redemption in two manners. The first is QR codes, where a consumer will be brought to a landing page containing the coupon they can redeem at the given business, the company's website, location, Facebook page, Twitter handle, and contact information. The second fashion of redemption is through utilization of coupon codes that can be found on all coupons and redeemed at our website at www.startoiletpaper.com. There is a coupon code redeemer where a customer will receive a .pdf of the coupon that they can save, print out, or share with their friends via social media. Because we utilize online redemption, we are able to obtain specific metrics that we can return to our advertisers.
We understand the hesitation that companies have when they first hear about the idea of advertising on toilet paper. As a startup we are always evolving our sales process and we must find a way to facilitate a logical decision based on the benefits of advertising with us instead of an emotional gut reaction. We have already started to see great results from our early adopters and project this to continue on as we reach out to and help more companies.”
And here’s my response:
When you get done with the rationale, CPM, demographics, etc. it is still, simply, coupons printed on toilet paper; you could make the same argument for printing AARP coupons on the inside of Depend adult diapers. And you still couldn’t convince me that it is a good idea. Though I must admit that I am impressed with the entrepreneurial spirit and passion this young man (college freshman) shows.
You are welcome to weigh in on either side. Me, I am going on vacation.