When you think of Santa Claus dropping loads all over the world, you envision bags full of gifts. But it seems jolly St. Nick leaves less happy presents in people's homes too, at least according to this gleefully scatalogical Christmas ad from Poo-Pourri.
The before-you-go toilet spray—makers of the 2013 viral hit "Girls Don't Poop," which has 30 million YouTube views—is back with quite the seasonal surprise. Yes, the three-minute video below confirms without a doubt that, as its title suggests, "Even Santa Poops."
Here, he's seen pooping in some British family's house—posh British people being, as the original video proved, particularly amusing when talking about poop. But wouldn't you know it—the three girls of the home aren't asleep. They barge in on Santa while he's on the can, claiming to have been woken by the smell.
And indeed, Claus does appear to have polluted the place with his Santa stink, having not used the Poo-Pourri that was sitting right there.
The concept will surely be off-putting to some, but the scriptwriting is strong—one poop joke after another, many of them actually quite inspired, and some of them delivered by the squeaky-clean sisters.
That it's this well done shouldn't be a surprise: The spot was written and directed by Pete Marquis and Jamie McCelland, with concept and copywriting by Joel Ackerman. The former worked on the hilarious Hello Flo videos, while the latter wrote and directed "Girls Don't Poop." It's like a dream team of bodily-functions humorists.
We caught up with Poo-Pourri creator and CEO Suzy Bátiz to ask how the ad came to be, and what kind of reaction she's expecting from it.
How did the idea to do a Christmas commercial come about?
The holidays are a perfect time to promote Poo-Pourri as it is the perfect gift and a huge hit during the holidays as it creates laughs and, above all else, it really works. It's the gift that everyone can use. So we wanted to continue the success we've had with our other online videos with original, timely creative content that drives customer engagement.
What was the scripting process like? Did you come up with various scenarios before settling on this one?
Other people wonder how Santa gets to all the houses, fits down the chimney or is he even real? At Poo-Pourri, we think a little differently, a little unexpectedly. We think Santa is just like us. He has to poop too, especially after eating cookies and milk all night.
That's when we decided to reach out to our dream team: Joel Ackerman, our original writer on "Girls Don't Poop," and Pete and Jamie, the directing team and comedic geniuses behind the Hello Flo viral videos, which we are big fans of in our offices.
We definitely went through a number of concepts and scenarios with every brainstorm session and script review. With each session we continued to elevate the concept to get to the final. For example, the concept started with one girl and then progressed to three girls who were sisters. Then we gave Santa more of an attitude. And then we finally topped it off with Bethany, our "Poo Girl," making an entrance as a throwback to our other videos and something our loyal Poo-Pourri brand followers would appreciate.
How did you find the right Santa for this? And who is the actor?
What actor? We flew him in first class from the North Pole. Yes, Santa is a union actor.
No, really, we auditioned several possible Santas, and none were feeling right. Then Pete and Jamie thought of a friend, who was a comedic actor, and just happened to look the part. We auditioned him, he began improvising, and we knew right away he would be a great fit. His name is Mike Faella, aka "Santa Mike."
How far did you want to take the humor with the girls and their potty mouths?
As always, we looked for the balance of shock value versus clever, witty comedy that is the essence of the Poo-Pourri voice. Our brand is known for our witty, confident and playful spirit that we bring through in everything we do.
We did have a lot of fun, however, seeing a lot of giggles from the girls, because we actually were asking them to say "poop" and "fart," words they hadn't ever been given permission to talk about before.
Are you expecting an enthusiastic response, or do you think there might be a few Grinches out there?
Absolutely, we are expecting a great response! Whenever you create something that pushes boundaries, you're going to have passionate lovers and passionate haters, but it's all passion. We hope to have touched on a funny take on a traditional story—an unexpected twist to a holiday classic tale.
Our brand is built on the unexpected. Like in our first video, "Girls Don't Poop," you had a beautiful British girl saying things like "creamy behemoth." It's the same here. You have innocent little girls saying unexpected things. And you have Santa pooping in a house … certainly an unexpected scenario. Yes, he does exist. And, yes, his poop stinks too!
Production Company: World War Seven
Executive Producer: Josh Ferrazzano
Producer: Mike Begovich
Directors: Pete Marquis, Jamie McCelland (Pete & Jamie)
Concept: Joel Ackerman, Hector Batiz
Writers: Pete Marquis, Jamie McCelland
Copywriter: Joel Ackerman
Director of Photography: Kevin Phillips
Production Designer: Russell Jaeger
Wardrobe Stylsts: Karla Cavalli, Harmoni Everett
Hair, Makeup Artist: Colleen Hogan
Editor: Karen Kourtessis, Beast
Sound Design: Chirs Stangroom, Hobo Audio
Colorist: Robert Crosby, Neptune Post
Santa: Mike Faella
Sister No. 1: Isabella Blake Thomas
Sister No. 2: Ava Devoe
Sister No. 3: Haylie Di Fronzo
Lady on Santa's Lap: Bethany Woodruff