Poop. We all do it. But despite pooping on a day to day basis, there has always been an unwritten rule to not talk about poop. PooPourri diminishes this rule when they released their ad campaign, which went viral a few years ago.
PooPourri is a ”before-you-go toilet spray” intended to hide unpleasant odours that arise from a trip to the bathroom. It is targeted towards female consumers and marketed with the idea that women aren’t meant to be the cause for unpleasant odours. PooPourri may come across as a parody or entertainment gimmick, but the product can be purchased on their website, http://www.poopourri.com/, for under $10 a bottle.
At first, PouPourri seems to feed into the notion that females are meant to suppress their natural body activities. The advertisement for the product is seen as sexist and sends a message that women should act in a certain manner- free of bowel movements. However, the advertisement contradicts these messages of sexism and blatant stereotyping of women through absolute hilarity.
“How do you make the world believe your poop doesn’t stink?” The young woman asks, dressed in a blue, flared dress with white tulle detailing. A good question, indeed. The fact of the matter is, that no one likes bad odour. And PooPourri shows audiences very effectively why this is. The existence of deodorants, dry shampoos, body lotions, body sprays, and perfumes all lead us to believe that we always ought to smell good. Why shouldn’t we continue this practice in the bathroom?
The generalization and conclusion drawn from the advertisement is that if bad odours exist, bad odours must be suppressed. And although this is a plausible statement, it is an statement that is only applicable to women. Despite the entire human population doing daily bowel movements (hopefully), PooPourri is, or at least is marketed, towards only half of said population. At least that’s what the attractive, Caucasian woman with the British accent makes it sound like.
Whether it’s her pearl accessories or red lipstick, the Caucasian beauty persuades audiences through the use of her sex. Her overall appeal will remind some audience members of Audrey Hepburn. So when a woman such as this asks a question about the smell of poop, audiences are bound to be intrigued – and a little embarrassed – by the matter. It is certainly not a topic discussed by ladies dressed in satin and pearls.
There is a sense of familiarity with the foreign accent in our North American ears. The woman does an effective job of delivering the message that ”poop is gross”- without making it sound, well, gross.
The advertisement focuses on the provoking emotions of embarrassment within females by creating scenarios of unpleasant occurrences that can happen when going to the bathroom at work, a party, or your significant other’s home. Suddenly, viewers are forced to recall all the embarrassing moments they had at work, school, or at a party, creating a sense of need to purchase a bottle of PooPourri.
With over 33 million views of YouTube, the product has reached a significant amount of toilet users with a promise of ”a business that makes your business smell like it never even happened.” The advertisement is so ridiculous, it will have viewers questioning the authenticity of the product. With only $10 a bottle, discretely ”laying a brick” at your boyfriend’s apartment seems like a good investment after all. Keep things fair by handing your boyfriend a bottle to use when he’s at your place. Because equality. You won’t be the first one to do so. PooPourri sold over 4 million bottles with a better Amazon rating than the iPhone 5.
It will ”save your relationships” – because no one wants to leave a subtle scent of a 300-cow dairy farm in their boyfriend’s bathrooms. Whether it’s the cheeky dialogue, the attractive woman, or the use of, at times, uncomfortable visuals, if this Poo-Pourri advertisement will not initiate sales (although it most certainly did), it will, at the very least, leave 33+ million viewers talking and thinking about the product.