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Guys, Women Are Not Inspired by Bathroom Humor

Yes… that “is” a shot of a rhinoceros peeing.

But wait, there’s more! For everyone to watch, Mohawk® Flooring subjected a piece of their carpet to two weeks of being walked on, peed on and yes… crapped on by Ricko, a 2,800 lb. African rhinoceros. All in an effort to prove how stain resistant and durable their new SmartStrand® product actually is. Seriously?

I saw this campaign for the first time last week. Even though it is about a year old, I think it’s a great example of taking a boyish obsession with bathroom humor to the next unfortunate level. Guys, women are responsible for more than 80% (some stats say 90%) of all flooring purchases and they simply are not as enamored with bodily excretions as you are. They for sure do not want to watch as animal feces pile up on carpet.

But I believe it is also an even deeper illustration of how men and women differ in retaining their thoughts. For men, simply cleaning it up also wipes the thoughts of dung and pee from their memory and all is good again. Yet, women will most likely retain the association as they process things on a multi-dimensional level. I am confident I will now always think of rhino dung when I think of Mohawk’s®SmartStrand® carpet. I cannot imagine how I would feel had I actually participated in viewing it for two straight weeks. As a matter of fact, after watching the final video I am not even impressed with how well they were able to clean the carpet, much less able to get the images out of my brain.

But I would like to hear your thoughts. I have included the four stages of the campaign that I found, below.

1) The teaser trailer
A video that reveals peoples’ reactions when they were told what Mohawk® planned to do with the carpet. Such as:

You are gonna what?!
That’s nasty!
Wouldn’t it be kinda messy?
That is actually really gross.

Not exactly how I would want to leave my brand association hanging until the next update.

2) Introduction to the SmartStrand Challenge
Next, there’s an introductory video where Chip Wade from HGTV explains the SmartStrand® Rhino Challenge.

“We’re about to cover the entire enclosure with SmartsStrand® carpet and for 2 solid weeks, Ricko here is going to do “whatever it is that rhinos do,” on SmartStrand® carpet. Something tells me it won’t be pretty.”

Hmmmm… I wonder what rhinos do? Again… not really the image you want your brand to conjure up.

3) The best moments of Ricko on SmartsStrand® carpet
For two weeks you could go online and watch Ricko “do his business.” Here are the highlights and you get to see more than just peeing. I assume the sounds effects are a just a bonus in case you “miss” it.

Okay…as of now all all I can think about is how nasty that SmartStrand®  carpet has to be.

4) SmartStrand® Survived
Really? I must have missed it. Or survived for what? To be pulled up and thrown into the dumpster… yes. To be installed in my house? I don’t think so.

If at the end there had been a shot of pristine white carpet covering the entire floor, it just might have delivered the pay off.  I can only assume, that was not possible. As it is, there is nothing in this video that convinces me that all of the stains came up. It raises more doubt than confidence. At the end of the day I now connect SmartStrand® carpet and rhino excretions. Yuck!

But, again, I’d like to know what you think.



Stephanie Holland is President and Executive Creative Director for Holland + Holland Advertising, Birmingham, Alabama. Working in an industry that is dominated by men, she is one of only 3% of the female creative directors in the country. Stephanie works mostly with male advertisers, helping them successfully market to women. Subscribe to She-conomy by Email