Toilet paper ads on a roll!
It is not unusual to see advertisements everywhere from airports to bus benches but two brothers from New York encourage you to look before you flush...
August 23, 2012 10:05 by M. Aldalou
“I found myself sitting in the bathroom at the university library, bored, looking at my phone and the Graffiti on the wall,” says Jordan Silverman, co-founder of Star Toilet Paper. Along with his brother Bryan, the Silvermans turned what started out as a bathroom epiphany into a new advertising reality. And so far, they’re on a roll!
During a video interview with CNN, the New York brothers explained all about their ‘two-ply’ business model (pun definitely intended) that includes supplying bars, restaurants, bowling alleys, malls or any public places with the actual printed toilet rolls for free and the second ply being charging advertisers for the space. The first ply was and still remains an extremely important magnet in keeping the flow of sales and supply smooth.
So far, the company has 50 advertisers but some of them have said that it is too early to really tell how effective this peculiar medium of advertising really is. “An average advertisement is seen from between two to five seconds where our ads will be seen anywhere from 1 to 10 minutes,” says Bryan Silverman. Although, he wasn’t always so optimistically confident about the venture, because despite the start-up having grown substantially since its launch in 2010, Bryan did have his initial doubts.
“I really did think Jordan was a little crazy at first,” Bryan said. “But I love working with him.”
Advertisers will have the ability to have a custom selection of advertisements, as long as they place a minimum order of 20,000 ads. But it has proven to be a win-win situation because it will merely cost them $99 or approximately, 50 cent per ad.
In the dog-eat-dog of a business world that we live in, advertisements can be found almost anywhere as advertisers will do whatever they can to be seen and venues will do whatever they can to attract them. Malls, restaurants, bars, airplanes, airports, bathrooms and sporting stadiums, to name a few, all offer the opportunity for advertisers to be seen in exchange for a price, and normally a hefty one at that.
Although, despite the toilet roll idea catching on rather quick, they admit that it isn’t always easy especially with an amusing yet cheeky tagline like ‘don’t rush. Look before you flush.’
“It does take advertisers a few seconds to wrap their heads around the idea of advertising on toilet paper,” says Jordan, adding that the module does attract long pauses, confusion and snickers. But the real question is, with such innovative ideas that could (one day) turn into billion dollar industries, who will have the last laugh?
Kipp can’t decide whether to be amused or extremely impressed by this idea along with the speed of its growth. At first, it may attract an ironic grin or a chuckle even from us, but advertisers will do the impossible to ensure that their products and services are seen and although the number of ‘impressions’ isn’t exactly their strong suit, the ‘time spent’ looking certainly makes up for it.
What Kipp would love to explore though is the possibility of this idea expanding to the Middle East. Do you think it would make an effective advertising model here?