Cottonelle asks you to “Respect the Roll”

Here’s a list of things you might not expect to see together. Bear with me and I will make it all make sense:

  1. Toilet Paper
  2. Malibu Beach House
  3. Brazil
  4. Mad Men
  5. Jonathan Adler
  6. Moms

Last week I went to “The Malibu Beach House” for an event sponsored by Cottonelle toilet paper. I’d heard about this particular beach house before.  It’s somewhat legendary. It’s a classic Malibu icon – the house with steps to the sand. What’s unique about this one is that it that it gets used as a staging area for brands wanting to entertain guests and show off their wares in a casual chic setting.  The Malibu Beach house plays dress up all summer long and plays host to the rich and famous; celebs and their families. It’s a nonstop party.

Back to the TP.  My immediate (and only) mental association here dates back to 1978 or so when I decorated my Malibu Barbie’s beach house with items I made from spent toilet paper rolls.

What do Cottonelle and Audrina Patridge’s Mom have to do with one another?

They Respect the Roll

It all started in Brazil with a forward thinking marketing campaign.

What do YOU do with your spare roll? Hide it? Stash it behind some “break in the event of an emergency” glass? Display it prominently to put visitors at ease? It is reassuring to see that spare roll when you go. Isn’t it?

Cottonelle’s marketing team cleverly recognized that this was a conversation worth having.  So, they came up with the “Respect the Roll” campaign here in the US and a gift with purchase product that married a bit of the past with the present.

Although craft kitsch is enjoying quite a revival of its own, these roll covers draw design inspiration from mid century modern art and decor. These are not your grandma’s crocheted roll covers.But I bet she’d approve of the three sleek  printed plastic containers that Cottonelle came up with.

I find the whole campaign vibe, the gift with purchase, the design, the throwback to another era implicit in the very idea of a toilet paper “roll cover” to be very MadMen. I like it.

Suddenly it made sense to be lounging in the Malibu Beach House, talking toilet paper. Even if you are a celebrity, you gotta use it, don’t you? And you don’t want to be caught without!

While at the beach house we learned about all the care that went into choosing the designs for the initial three roll covers. The company plans to work with noted designers on future collections and several of us experienced a group psychic moment as our eyes met and we simultaneously shouted,

Jonathan Adler!”

I don’t know why or how that happened, frankly, but it did. It was magic. Have I mentioned how much I love everything Jonathan Adler does? And perhaps it was in the back of our minds, as he designed the “real life” Malibu Barbie house recently. Far more beautifully than my TP roll version.

Full circle there.

The last part of this post is about me, and dedicated to all you moms in general. You know how it is.

We hide in the bathroom.

I’m not proud of the fact that I’ve been known to linger. But it’s true. A moment’s peace in a room with a lock on the door is a priceless thing.

I do not like to run out of paper. No mom should be left to linger in a bathroom that is out of toilet paper.

So here’s what “Respect the Roll” means in my house; it means you follow the house rules of “if you finish it, you replace it”.

Easier to do when you leave your rolls out in plain (decorative) site.

I think they are on to something.

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