Funny Friday: When Modesty Gets Flushed

Is there nothing sacred anymore?  Are there no secrets?  Are there no private topics that aren’t fodders for tweets, posts or commercial broadcasts?

Last night while watching NBC, a pretty woman started talking about discomfort and itching.  I cringed.  I wondered if this was her shining moment as an actress– if this is the kind of thing she would showcase on her reel as outstanding work.  It was actually remarkable that she could “act” so normal as she had this conversation with a camera knowing it would be seen by millions.  Did this work make her mother very proud?  Does an actress make more money on such an unsavory spot as opposed to, say, a car or shampoo commercial?  Anyway, that’s only partially my point.

Our Space Mary Tyler Moore Dick Van Dyke 1964I remember the days of television when a husband and wife weren’t even allowed to sleep in the same bed.  Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore were such a charming couple, pioneers in an age of comedy television fresh off the Lucy and Ricky era.  But if any of you are old enough to remember or hipster enough to watch classic television, you would know they had two twin beds in their bedroom.

The Brady Bunch Robert Reed Florence Henderson 1973Couples sharing a bed on TV wasn’t mainstream until Mike and Carol Brady. “The Brady Bunch” in all of their cultural edginess (hilarious to think that they were ground breaking when compared to television today) brought the idea that married people slept together to the tube.

However, even the Bradys’ had boundaries.  Apparently, in the infamous Jack and Jill bathroom that the six children shared, there was nary a roll of toilet paper to be found.

As the old Virginia Slims ads used to say, We’ve “Come a Long Way Baby.”

From the old lady whispering “toilet paper” in what I believe was a Scots brand commercial from the 70s (I searched far too long for the example on YouTube), to Mr. Whipple and “Please Don’t Squeeze the Charmin,” to the current cuddly (?) bears proclaiming cleanliness with a trail of TP behind them, toilet paper ads have gone from being discreet to nearly disgusting.


The recent roll (ha) out of the #TweetfromtheSeat campaign has flushed any modesty the ad industry had left down the drain with it. Sure, it drives engagement and has increased followers on the company’s Twitter feed, but I personally don’t want to go there.  We already know that people are bringing their smartphones with them to catch up on their social media while “taking a break.”  Yes people, your employer knows you’re doing more than taking care of personal business while in there, but do you really want there to be proof in your posts?

Do we really need to have the picture in our minds that this message was tapped out from the seat?  TMI.  Really,  WAY TMI…

Anyway, this is just a kid from the 70’s perspective on the topic… What do you think?  Is there a stench of inappropriateness about today’s ads, or is it all fair game in the name of democracy and  marketing to a target market?

Since we are a multicultural agency, we thought we’d give a wink to this ridiculous attempt to tap the market with a ever so slightly modified Mr. Whipple campaign.  Muy cómico!



Cover Photo Source: Beat Küng via Flickr
Photo Source 1: Rogers & Cowan, public relations, Beverly Hills via Wikimedia Commons
Photo Source 2: ABC Television via Wikimedia Commons

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info] Jennifer is Director of Content & Ideation at SJG.  I am convinced that every human being is innately creative – Picasso said the key is to remain childlike within the body of a responsible adult, or something along those lines. As the oldest member of this opinionated clan, I feel responsible to share a different perspective. Engage me – I love a good debate! [/author_info] [/author]