The COVID-19 pandemic has made toilet paper a topic of socially polite conversation. Reports of shortages and hoarding lead the evening news. People triumphantly post on social media when they find the elusive product in stores. Others ask if anyone can spare a square.
Two toilet paper commercials recently caught my attention.
Charmin is continuing its regular ad campaign, featuring freaky cartoon bears who openly discuss their bathroom habits. In a time of crucial shortages, the commercials are offensively oblivious to the current crisis.
Cottonelle, on the other hand, released an ad assuring consumers of increased production that will soon restock empty shelves. The company is collaborating with the United Way to provide toilet paper to the needy.
Crisis tempts us to turn inward, focusing on survival and self-interest. However, the same challenge also provides the opportunity to turn outward, focusing on service and others. Whether it’s a company, congregation, family, or individual, the choice remains the same.
Shame on Charmin. Kudos to Cottonelle.