Marketing Bootcamp

5 Lessons Every Marketer Can Learn From the Stinking Brilliance of Poo Pourri

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It’s an age-old problem tackled in a refreshing way. Am I talking about marketing or eliminating nasty bathroom odors? Both. The hilarious approach of Poo Pourri is a lesson in marketing to all of us. It’s daring, honest, unforgettable and it makes us laugh.

For those who don’t know, Poo Pourri is a “before-you-go” toilet spray that kills bad smells with its aromatherapy-based “secret blend of essential oils.” Let’s look into why their marketing works and if there’s anything we can take away from it. I can think of at least five lessons.

Related: 10 Lessons in Brilliant Marketing

1. Know your audience. You’d think that a spray that promises to eliminate bathroom odors and leave the place smelling like roses would find takers everywhere. You’d be right. Despite that, Poo Pourri has its own targeted segment, as evidenced by the young lady in its advert that went viral. (That’s not the only video of theirs, by the way.)

They are taking a dig at young women everywhere who can be anal about their bathroom habits. Women are expected to smell good at all times and everywhere, yet nowhere is this more difficult to accomplish than in the bathroom. Some even like to pretend that they haven’t been there!

Hence, “Girls don’t poop,” their tagline. In gently poking fun at our at-times silly cultural sensibilities, they are drawing out everyone who is conscious of how they leave the bathroom smelling in their wake. Offices, hotels, restaurants and party halls could order these in bulk.

Everyone has a use for a spray that makes bathrooms smell fresh, but Poo Pourri did not target every Tom, Dick, and Harry. It defined its audience and crafted a marketing campaign around it.

2. Dare to be flagrant. No diluting their message, no beating around the bush. They have tackled a topic everyone battles with and embraced it wholeheartedly. Talking about poop is not be the best thing to do in polite company, but hey, everyone wonders about it!

They have taken the awkwardness out of the subject, and introduced plenty of double entendres on their website to draw readers in and keep them engrossed. This embosses their content on the readers’ minds without making them feel weird about reading how to mask their bathroom exploits. An unconventional but smart,and obviously effective, tactic.

Related: 6 Viral-Marketing Lessons to Learn From the Ice Bucket Challenge

3. Have a laugh at yourself. Whoever wrote their website copy certainly had fun doing it. They have taken a concept that makes people laugh anyway and presented it with remarkable professionalism and attention to detail, albeit in an unorthodox fashion.

They believe in themselves thoroughly and yet don’t take themselves too seriously. Everyone is joining in the laughs and their sales are climbing.

4. Give your brand a personality. The folks at Poo Pourri know their products, the poo smell killers. While concocting a blend of chemicals to kill unpleasant smells isn’t particularly hard or novel in the least, their smell fighters are not just any fighters. They smell of heaven. They bring to mind beautiful English gardens.

They have given their beautifully crafted bottles a personality worthy of luxury items with a vintage look, in line with feminine tastes exemplified by the lead model speaking a faux-English accent. It almost smacks of aristocracy. Women will love to carry a Poo Pourri bottle with them because it looks and smells so good. Men have also been targeted by Poo Pourri, though not to the same extent as women.  

5. To be irresistible, be stinking good. Ever since someone brought this website to my notice a couple of weeks ago, I must have shared it with at least 15 people and now I’m penning a post on it. Why? Because it is so unexpected, it’s funny! It’s refreshing to see something like that, and it’s a concept that gets stuck in your mind. It’s just one of those things.

 If this is the first you've heard of Poo Pourri, chances are you will want to tell someone about Poo Pourri too. If it can make you laugh, it’s got your attention. If it inspires you to write on it, you know they have gotten their marketing more than right.

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