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Take the Plunge

Contrary to popular belief, you use "bad news" to create a successful advertisement. Find out how it's done.

This story appears in the November 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Can we talk toilet humor for a minute? Although it doesn't usually appear in advertising, if you're a marketer for American Standard (AS), one of the most recognizable names on bathroom porcelain, you have license for some form of it.

The company took that tack in developing the current advertising for its "incredible" flushing system. After all, a serious treatment on the subject might be a little dicey: a side-by-side "whoosh-off" with a rival brand? How about testimonials from happy users bounding out of the john? Or a picture of all the guys down at Reliable Plumbing giving us the thumbs-up sign? I don't think so.

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