Ad agencies take creativity to the loo

MUMBAI: It's time to take creativity to the loo! Well, at least for some ad men abroad. To demonstrate the importance of the restroom to office workers, Kimberly-Clark Professional has made an offer that two advertising agencies couldn't refuse.

The agencies were asked to use their creativity and flair to redecorate each other's private spaces (read restrooms) with the help of an interior designer.


Explaining the rationale behind the makeovers Kimberly-Clark product manager Jackie B Martin was quoted in a media report saying, "The average office building worker spends more than three workdays a year in the restroom. For all that time, shouldn't office workers have a restroom that's as clean and attractive as possible, with high quality bath tissue and towels?"

In what could be described as a battle of the sexes, an all-female team from the Star Group in Cherry Hill, NJ, and an all-male team from The Hal Lewis Group in Philadelphia took command of each other's restrooms and transformed them from standard sinks and stalls into fanciful, colorful versions of their former selves. The women redid the men's restroom using an African jungle motif and the men turned the women's restroom into a tropical paradise. In an effort worthy of reality TV, they threw throw rugs, draped fabrics, hung hooks and undertook the makeover in roughly two hours time said a media report.

Loo before the revamp

The new look loo

(Pic courtesy:

The competing design teams featured: Star Group senior vice president and creative director Tracy Donofry, and Star/Rosen Public Relations senior vice president Karen Cutler, versus The Hal Lewis Group executive vice president and COO Jim Boland, creative director/art Marvin Bowe and creative director/copy Peter Villucci.

Maggie Javna, an interior designer who has designed homes and offices for New York-area celebrities, assisted the teams with the makeovers. The two office building management companies - Manhattan Management Company, Cherry Hill, NJ, and Equity Office, Philadelphia - threw their support behind the project, giving the teams and Kimberly-Clark Professional carte blanche to redecorate the formerly corporate restrooms.

The restroom makeovers, which included the company's new high class capacity dispensing systems, were designed to be temporary, and were done without altering any structures or putting anything permanent in place. It's up to the advertising agencies and property management firms to decide whether the restrooms stay this way or return to their previous states. Either way, for the occupants of these bathrooms, the restroom experience will likely be forever changed.

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