|Charmin's robots help you have a better restroom experience / Photo Credit: StorKiss (via Shutterstock)|
At the CES 2020 event, a cute robot with an electronic teddy bear face and brings toilet paper rolls to people on command was introduced, wrote Chauncey Alcorn of business and financial news CNN Business. The “RollBot” is designed to address the problem of bathroom users running out of toilet paper when they are on a restroom break. The two-wheeled robot can be controlled using a smartphone app. This is part of GoLab, one of the latest marketing innovations commissioned by Charmin, a P&G-owned toilet paper and tissue brand. Charmin is known for its creative and humorous marketing endeavors.
A Charmin spokesperson told CNN Business, "This builds on our mission to always bring better bathroom experiences to unexpected places and showcases our relentless obsession with helping people ‘Enjoy the Go.’” The brand’s efforts seemed to have paid off as many visitors were amused at RollBot, gaining attention also on social media and among the press. Charmin also unveiled in the event “Smell Sense,” its foul odor detector.
The device alerts people when a restroom is too stinky to use. It also notifies them when the stench has dissipated. Charmin’s Oculus Rift-powered virtual reality bathroom experience called “V.I.Pee” enables customers wearing the VR headset to metaphysically escape the drab confines of the restroom, immersing themselves in simulated environments such as a live concert. However, none of these devices are available for sale. Advertising professor Luke Sullivan explained that Charmin is doing this because it wants to sell more toilet paper, not robots.
Sullivan, who is also the author of "Hey Whipple, Squeeze This: A Guide to Creating Great Advertising,” told the outlet, “The point is getting eyeballs on the name Charmin any way they can.”
While toilet time may be an uncomfortable topic for some people, Charmin’s ads have been a success because it listened to its customers. A spokesperson for the brand stated, “We start with understanding the true potty pain points everyone experiences and how we can address them in a real yet playful way that is true to our brand.”