Admen in the US exploit toilets as advertising media

MUMBAI: The loo as an advertising medium? It has not been exploited in India apart from being used as a canvas for cheap erotic art or graffiti. Of course, public toilets in India, be it in airports or railway stations or bus depots are nothing but cesspools of excreta or urine scents. Hence, they don't lend themselves for use as an advertising medium. However, there is money to be made if some organisation chooses to use loos for ads.

In the US, toilet advertising is growing rapidly. The Indoor Billboard Advertising Association disclosed last week that toilet advertising rose 14.3 per cent as 185,000 spaces carried ads for clients. Even large national advertisers like TNT and Perrier have climbed on to the commode wave and are running campaigns.

A specialised loo advertising agency has also cropped up called Flush Media. Its rationale for existence is the 15 minutes a day that individuals spend staring at loo stall doors when relieving themselves. The pioneer of this advertising genre is a company called Zoom Media.

The agencies have been making a hard pitch as loos offer great demographic segmented ad opportunities. Ladies washrooms can be used to plug products to women; gents to gents. Ladies washrooms in opera houses can be used to target high ticket items to classy women while cheaper products can be pushed through ladies loos in public places.

Additionally, loos ideally lend themselves to humorous opportunities. For example, a media buying agency can create an ad which says "Don't let your ad bucks go to waste...come to *** Agency and we will add scents to your dollar...."

Are Indian companies listening?

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