Times Square Washlet Bottoms Out
Times Square Church in New York City has won a temporary injunction against the erection of billboards featuring naked buttocks with smiley faces on them. Rev. Neil Rhodes explained that the display had been planned to go up on two sides of the Broadway building that houses Rhodes’ church, its Bible school and day-care center. Van Wagner Communications, the billboard company behind the campaign, had given advance notice of the controversial billboard campaign, set to go live on July 1. The ads promote the Washlet, a bidet-toilet seat that uses warm water and air, patented and manufactured by Toto in Japan. Different Washlet models have features such as air fresheners, seat heaters, and dryers.
The merits of the Washlet bidet are not holding water with the local church. “You walk into a church building, you have naked bodies before your eyes, how are you going to close your eyes and seek God?” Rhodes told the New York Post in an article published Sunday. The Manhattan judge has ordered Rhodes and the church to post a 90-thousand dollar bond pending a decision on the issues discussed at a conference between the parties. I’m wondering what the McDonalds franchisees on the ground floor think about all this.
The Clean Is Happy campaign is not limited to Times Square however. The billboards are being screened in Chicago and Los Angeles. Out of home advertising is appearing on the sides of buses and in bus shelters. A print advertising campaign includes a lift out section. The Clean is Happy theme continues in packaging and in display stands at expos. The online campaign, at cleanishappy.com, provides information delivered by the faces that presumably match the bottoms.
The Toto Washout Clean is Happy campaign was developed at ML Rogers, New York, led by group creative director Scott Barbey. The Clean is Happy site was designed by Scott Barbey and UX designer Colin Ochel.
After negotiation the Times Square billboard has been amended, with a white section partially covering the bottoms and the text, “Our bottom line” and “Clean is happy. No ifs, ands or…”.