Fun fact: In Japanese, there’s no euphemism for the word butt.
That’s according to Toto, the world’s largest manufacturer of bathroom fixtures and fittings. They’re based in Kitakyushu, so the folks there should know.
Fortunately for barrettSF, the ad agency working with Toto in the U.S., there are about a zillion ways to refer to that part of the human anatomy here. So take a seat on your money maker and check out the new campaign for a Toto-made high-tech bidet called the Washlet.
To guide you through a shit ton of slang, there’s a character-spokesman armed with a seemingly endless garden hose who sprays a series of well-placed (and SFW) props to make them clean. The props are puns for the nether regions—they include a dumper, a backdoor, tail feathers, brownie box, an undercarriage, precious booty (complete with pirate), full moon, balloon knot, fanny and junk in the trunk.
This guy just happens to have a porridge storage area of his home, a poster of Uranus hanging around, and places “where the sun don’t shine,” literally.
The sight gags and word play are meant to educate consumers about bathroom hygiene when few Americans use a bidet, found in upwards of 80 percent of Japanese households, according to the brand.
“Ninety-nine percent of Americans don’t use bidet seats,” said the agency’s creative director (and Washlet user) Aryan Aminzadeh. “But once you do, you realize you’ve been performing a daily activity the wrong way your whole life.”
The mini-movie comes from director Cameron Harris of Gravy Films, a New Zealander who understands toilet humor (no, they do not flush backwards in his home country). It launches Tuesday across a number of digital platforms, including Facebook.
And for a more immersive experience (try before you buy!), the brand has opened a one-of-a-kind showroom in San Francisco, dubbed Concept 190. There are four beautifully appointed johns filled with high-concept equipment and accessories, and testing is encouraged.
The local media has called it “the No. 1 place for a futuristic No. 2.”
Client: Toto USA
President Operations/E-Commerce: Bill Strang Senior Director, Washlet Division: Yasuhiro Zaima Director of Marketing: Emilee Chappell
Assistant Manager: Amy Rubinger
Assistant Coordinator: Astrid Vazquez
Founder/Executive Creative Director: Jamie Barrett
Creative Director: Aryan Aminzadeh
Associate Creative Director: Brad Kayal Copywriter: Jeff Tune
Art Director: Jessica Sugerman
Founder/Managing Director: Patrick Kelly Account Director: Molly Friedman Account Supervisor: Emily Brody
Head of Broadcast Production: Conor Duignan Broadcast Producer: Charlotte Dugoni Production Company: Gravy Director: Cameron Harris Owner/Executive Producer: Brent Stoller Staff Production Coordinator: Alice Bearn
Line Producer: Sloane Skala
Editorial: Cut + Run
Executive Producer: Deanne Mehling
Producer: Jared Thomas Editor: Pete Koob Assistant Editor: Chris Kasper
Sound & Mix: One Union
Sound Engineer: Eben Carr
Producer: Lauren Mask
Music: New Math
Creative Director/Partner: Raymond Loewy
Head of Production: Elizabeth Munoz
Composers: Joey Spallina, Raymond Loewy, David Wittman and Kala Sherman
Managing Director & Partner: Matt Notaro
Producer: Nick Castillo
Colorist: Chris Martin