Toilet Paper Creative Advertising

Social Branding

Advertising students at Deakin University produced campaigns with one to get presented to the amazing social enterprise we know as Who Gives a Crap. Although this campaign was chosen as a finalist to actually get used by the company it was a great experience to create for such a reputable social enterprise. Background Who Gives…

Advertising students at Deakin University produced campaigns with one to get presented to the amazing social enterprise we know as Who Gives a Crap. Although this campaign was chosen as a finalist to actually get used by the company it was a great experience to create for such a reputable social enterprise.

Creative Advertising Campaign

Who Gives a Crap Social Enterprise


Who Gives a Crap provide ethical recycled toilet paper and 50% of profits help those who don’t have access to a toilet.

Brand Personality

The brand has a huge personality which has benefited by straddling both the Jester and Everyman archetypes. Crowd-pleasing, down to earth comedy without pretences, puns, and toilet jokes which lighten the mood with a common touch have differentiated this brand with the usual cute puppies and kittens in the sector. Who Gives a Crap is a good neighbour and solid citizen.

The Product

Like the Who Gives the Crap brand the product also is characterised by market differentiation and stands out from the competition at every stage from product design to its online distribution. It is most distinctive as a higher purpose product.

The Roll Model line of affordable, 2-ply toilet paper is created specifically for business to business consumption available online.

The Market

Key Players

The major players are Kimberly-Clark (the makers of Kleenex), Asaleo Care and ABC Tissue Products. Kimberly-Clarks focus on their core business and rising imports from China and have brought down prices in the sector in recent years.

Key Competitor

Encore Tissue Pty Ltd which has a 2.5% market share is a key competitor and produces 100% recycled tissue products under the Earthwise, Elite, Envirosoft, Safe, iCare and Merino brands.

Success Factors

IBISWorld reports a number of key factors which can contribute to success for smaller operators. These include access to niche markets, large-scale customers, and the importance of brand recognition over price. Quality is also crucial, because “loyalty towards a brand is often established due to quality distinctions” (Munro-Smith 2018).


Raising recognition and awareness in the target audience is essential in building brand loyalty for small players in this cluttered market.  Awareness that Captain Crap accreditation in bathrooms signals an ethical choice product.

The audience response

Recognition and attention leading to trial and eventual brand loyalty is the desired effect. This is achieved using a soft sell humorous approach. Customers are educated to look for higher purpose Captain Crap accredited bathrooms.  Business owners are encouraged to respond and get Captain Crap accredited. Provoking ‘water cooler’ conversations is ideal.

Target audience

The target audience is the Socially Aware decision makers who purchase toilet paper for large institutions. They are also the customers who make ethical purchase decisions.  Often well-educated, they act as role models and trendsetters of society. These include the key purchasing decision-makers in the hospitals, hospitality, medical services, and shopping centre industries and their socially aware customers. Socially Aware market segment according to Roy Morgan (Single Source n.d.):

  • 15 % of the population
  • 35 to 55-year-old Females
  • Female
  • High income
  • City dwellers
  • They love to try out new things and share their preferences.
  • Their consumptive decision-making drivers are education, trend-setting, systems thinking, and they love to get entertained


The population is looking for crowd-pleasing role models to provide ethical leadership and a higher purpose in the era of fake news and Trump.

“Everyone Needs a Roll Model”


Every crap makes a difference to the environment and water management and for egalitarian Australians, this is a key issue. 

Research shows customers and users are expecting to see some environmental leadership (role models) as social awareness is the defining trend of our age (Evans & Reimondos 2013).

Figure 3. Import Climate issues for Australians (Evans & Reimondos 2013)

In the era of Trump and fake news, people are looking for authentic popular heroes and role models.

Customers will use the bathrooms in shopping centres, hotels, hospitals and other businesses and judge these establishments by the toilet paper use.

Tone of voice

It is important that the tone continues in the humorous everyman persona of the brand. Optimistic, upbeat light-hearted toilet humour and puns which promote the brand’s higher purpose and ethics.

Media requirements

TVC, social media video, bathroom posters, and marketing products.

Free window Captain Crap accreditation signs for every new business order.  

Free men’s and women’s toilet signs which promote What the Crap toilet paper.


The call to action encourages users to look for the “Captain Crap Accreditation” signs before using services.

Overlays on end frames reinforce the higher purpose credentials (WaterAid and 100 per cent recycled paper).

Key Success Factors

To achieve more business to business sales recognition and cutting through the clutter is essential to move into the business to business space. The brand has created the perfect persona to differentiate itself and achieve these objectives but to amplify these effects and get even bolder in this increasingly competitive market. To stand out, even more, this campaign seeks to get edgier and push the higher purpose message into social and public spaces using posters and a social media campaign along with TVC. The campaign is reliant on business adopting the Captain Crap accreditation practices and creating the perception that socially aware customers are looking for this.

Part B: Storyboards

Part C: Story Rationales

In contrast to the conventional approaches with cute ducks, puppies and kitty cats both of our storyboards contain the elements of originality and elaboration (Reinartz and Saffert, 2013) to achieve our recognition objective and to stir up conversations.  Creativity advertisements work seven times better than conventional advertisements and our advertisements push toilet paper product differentiation to new limits (Gunn Cited in Campaign Brief, 2013).

The evolution of toilet paper advertisement used a humorous heart message showing some of the more shocking ways people have wiped through the ages to create interest.  By elaborating on the idea through different time periods using the everyman sense of humour, we aimed to cut through the recognition barrier. Ultimately Roll Model Who Gives a Crap toilet paper is presented as the end-product of this evolution, and by association, the perception is that socially aware consumers are looking to seek out the higher purpose credentials which Captain Crap certification offers.

This same everyman humour, originality and elaboration are used in the Everyone Needs a Roll Model dramatic advertisement. The narrative flows from the shame of pooping in public places to honour when this happens in a Captain Crap Certified Roll Model bathroom. The message for business owners is simple – certification signifies higher purpose social status and attracts business.   

Part D: Creative Process Description

The five-step creative process guided my ideation.

Figure 4.  Five Step Creative Process (Wallas Cited in Moriarty 2015)

The creative process started with immersion – researching the product and getting to know it well.

 Creative big ideas come from a position of sound strategy and a clear SMP and informed research. The insight that everyone needs a roll model emerged as I considered the role the socially aware segment plays in society as trendsetters.  I went through their website as well as previous advertisements they have done. From these I could piece together the evolution of the company, their branding story, identified the Joker/ Everyman brand archetype and came to understand their brand values, assets, domain and attributes. 

Then it was time to find ideation. I jotted down humorous ideas about toilet paper which came to mind. Which way does the roll go on and extreme ideas about bad experiences? I brainstormed and extended these ideas using the five-dimension framework of Reinartz and Saffert (2013) while allowing time for ideas to percolate.

Using the Everyman/Joker archetype and the SNP to lead, I sketched out ideas, leading to stories with distinct beginnings, middles and endings.  I talked about my stories with people to make them more coherent before extending the creative dimensions of originality and elaboration in two of these.

One was of a food critic marking down a restaurant because it didn’t use Roll Model which later became the Wipe of Shame. Another was of extremely bad examples of rough toilet paper.  By working with the Socially Aware target audience this brought them closer to their current form.

Multiculturalism also plays such a big part in Australian society. The archetype, the target audience, and the market position of the product determined the decision to have a 100% ethnically diverse cast.

I continued to do up mood boards, sketch up ideas but also, I allowed for some creative space. By participating in mindfulness exercises and going for nature walks this allowed space for incubation and time to bring out the creative ideas. Eventually, the light bulb of Illimitation lit up and bought forth the ideas I was then able to refine my ideas with attention to detail in the copywriting process to bring out the key messages. 


Belch, G.E, Belch, M.A, Kerr, G & Powell, I 2014, Advertising: An Integrated Marketing Communication Perspective, 3rd edn, McGraw-Hill Education, North Ryde, NSW

Evans, A. & Reimondos, A. 2013, ‘Climate of doubt: what Australians think about climate change’, The Conversation, 22 January,

Campaign Brief 2013, ‘Gunn Report Reveals Awarded Creative Advertising is 7 Times as Effective as Non- Awarded Advertising‘, Campaign Brief, 18 March, retrieved 20 September 2018,

Moriarty, S, Mitchell, N, Wells, W, Crawford, R, Brennan, L & Spence-Stone, R 2015, Advertising Principles and Practice, 3rd edition, Pearson, Melbourne.

Munro-Smith, H. 2018, ‘Sanitary Paper Product Manufacturing in Australia’, IBISWorld, vol. July, no. IBISWorld Industry Report C1524

Roy Morgan Single Source n.d., Roy Morgan Values Segments, Roy Morgan Single Source,

Who Gives a Crap c. 2018, ‘Roll Model Commercial Toilet Paper’, Who Gives a Crap, retrieved 28 September 2018,

Reinartz, W & Saffert, P 2013, ‘How to Assess an Ad’s Creativity’, Harvard Business Review, 28 Ma, retrieved 28 September 2018, <>.

Sparkol 2015, ‘The 12 brand archetypes all successful businesses are built on’, Engage Blog, viewed 1 May 2017, <>.

Header Public Domain Image: Toilet Paper by Alexandra_Koch

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