Poop Café Wipes Up Viral Marketing
Potty humor can work, especially if the public toilet humor finds you. All week, consumers have been helping create marketing messages for the Poop Café Dessert Bar, set to open in Toronto in a couple of weeks.
Red bean ice cream, chocolate soft-serve and other stool-colored-and-shaped food will be served in toilet and urinal-shaped dishes. Any subtlety is flushed away by the poop emoji décor. Some of the social media offerings can’t be printed here.
“I've been waiting for someone to bring this idea into fruition for some time,” writes Renée White of Oxford, Mass. on Facebook on Saturday. “Now that it's, 'dropped,' I can't wait!!! Heading for Toronto.”
— Brendan Kelley (@BrendanIsQuiet) August 1, 2016
Proving that humor in marketing is an evergreen topic, the bullet points come courtesy of a 2012 article by Social Media Explorer. The digestible bits, though, are Target Marketing’s new contributions to the pot:
Use Humor Creatively
Puns are plentiful on social media, but even Laura Beeston of the Toronto Star can’t help herself on July 22.
“Toronto is joining the (bowel) movement: a poop-themed café is coming to Koreatown,” she writes.
Beeston adds in plenty of double entendres: “[Owner Lien Nguyen, a] recent George Brown College graduate, earned her credentials in culinary management.”
(In the U.S., will Brown University graduates be far behind?)
Keep It Short and Simple
Don’t regurgitate the facts.
“The next big stink,” is how Daryll Villena (@GreenDei) introduces the restaurant on Twitter on Sunday.
The self-described “Toilet blogger, EntrePEEneur” lives in the Philippines.
“I ain’t buying into this c*&p,” Ken Smigelski of San Francisco writes on Facebook on Saturday.
Make Sure It’s Consistent With Your Brand
Chances are, this café will never be listed on the “Canadian attractions, events and experiences” section of the Government of Canada’s travel site. Poop emojis don't seem to align with that brand.
At least, Liz Bradley (@lizAbrossard) of Chicago didn’t seem to think so on Monday.
Why is this a thing? Stop it, Canada. You're drunk https://t.co/TvoN3ChfLO
— liz bradley (@lizAbrossard) August 1, 2016
Pick Your Targets Carefully
Here’s additional wisdom from Social Media Explorer: “It’s okay to poke fun at yourself, the weather and other innocuous subjects. And big institutions can sometimes be targeted (carefully). Stay away from political or religious issues, and don’t target any race, gender or groups like senior citizens.”
(Notice there’s no mention of No. 2?)
Use Humor Selectively
Some humor leaves a lingering odor.
Social Media Explorer recalls this moment: “[A] Ketchum PR manager tweeted the following on the flight into Memphis to visit FedEx, a major customer: ‘True confusion, but I’m in one of those towns where I scratch my head and say-I would die if I had to live here.’ ”
About 40 percent of Americans browse the Web in the bathroom, according to a 2012 post in Target Marketing by Editor-in-Chief Thorin McGee.
So it’s possible that’s even where the viral nature of the Poop Café posts spread.
Then there’s this thought from McGee: “While 90 percent of respondents at least washed their hands before leaving the bathroom, only 14 percent washed their phones.”
Plus, here are a couple of toilet-themed ads:
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.