Charmin explores the overshare: Too personal a brand to Tweet?

A few days ago, Beatabeat wrote about Charmin’s Twitter presence. To describe the Tweets from the toilet paper company as “overshares” may be an understatement. The TMI tweets include many variations of common bathroom stories:

Tweet from the seat Charmin Twitter

While BetaBeat went on to find out who was responsible for this overshare Twitter presence and hashtag #tweetfromtheseat, my first response was to question the overall effectiveness of the tactics. Social media and Twitter are tools designed for sharing. And the notion of privacy has certainly been changing the last several years. But bowel movements? Really? Is it possible that some brands shouldn’t be using Twitter?

As a convenience consumer product, generally people don’t devote much time, thought or energy to purchasing toilet paper. While a small subset of consumers can develop brand loyalty, cost is generally the only factor the majority of consumers consider when purchasing toilet paper.

So it becomes obvious what Chrmin is trying to do on Twitter. They’re hoping to differentiate their brand from other similar, lower-cost competitors with a cheeky (no pun intended) social media presence and ad campaign. In doing so, their #tweetfromtheseat ad campaign has even traveled to SXSW for the week:

Tweet from the seat Charmin SXSW social media

So they’re hoping to reach out to a younger audience. An audience that very well may be open to the funny overshare tweets #tweetfromtheseat may inspire. But are they towing the line? In an effort to make “people enjoy the go,” as Charmin Associate Communications Director Tonia Elrod told BetaBeat, do they alienate certain consumers? Or do they simply make their brand unique from the dozens of other toilet papers in the supermarket’s hygiene aisle?

I would argue that any campaign dedicated to sensitive subject matter threatens alienating certain consumers. In the likely outcome that #tweetfromtheseat doesn’t really go anywhere, they’re devoting valuable social media marketing time and space to a campaign that has little reach or measurable effectiveness. And while the occasional Tweeter may find it funny, I don’t believe the campaign is enough to sway purchasing decision. Furthermore, how many respectable Tweeters really want to fill their feed up with pooping tales?

Sorry Charmin. A for effort. But I think #tweetfromtheseat is just a little too bold for the Twittersphere.

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