Clorox Cleans Up With Ick Awards

Clorox is set to clean up with their Ick Awards.

The company famous for their bleach-whitening product has bottled up the “Ick Awards”.  The brand getting out its message with Chicago’s famed The Second City improv troupe to create a live-streamed, four-hour performance, – sketch comedy style.  Rachel Dratch, formerly of SNL, and a Second City alumna, serves as host. The cast will comprise Second City actors. Second City Communications, which is the marketing arm of the group, partnered with Clorox to create the program. 


I’m not sure how many people want to explicitly describe bathroom messes, but enough do to warrant Clorox taking public testimonials of disgusting and/or embarrassing cleaning situations and using them for sketch comedy. Recruiting improv pros from the Second City in Chicago, a series of videos showcase the “Ick Awards”. As an incentive to publicly pronounce via Twitter stories like “the time my prom dress went into the bottom of the toilet after I used it”, the Second City folks improvised expository sketches tailored to the stories sent in for all of YouTube to see.

It seems like the toiletries and cleaning industries are all embracing humor in place of circumspection when it comes to ad campaigns. Charmin has a similar twitter campaign, and the viral video for PooPouri made quite a splash. Clorox themselves has been in this rebranding groove for a while now with a set of “Ick-tionary” TV spots released last year.

Appropriately enough, improv comedy can sometimes be a messy endeavor but I think that’s what gives it a certain frantic magic. Dratch, who is a comedy veteran compared to the fresh-faced performers, cracks up in multiple sketches but you can tell she’s having fun. And I guess that’s the bottom line of this campaign trend: expose and have fun with the gross bodily functions polite society tells us to ignore. Long live potty humor?


Clorox Gets Dirty With Yale to Fight “Pooperator”

College seems to be an expensive place to do stupid things.  (Someone in my dorm always used to get stoned and play a didgeridoo in the stairwell at midnight.)  Ivy league Yale has been soiled recently by a prankster who has been urinating and defecating on unattended laundry.  Meanwhile, in the midst of this foul crisis, Clorox smells a marketing opportunity with “Pooperator” at Yale.

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Once the news hit the fan about the malcontent “Pooperator” who has been fouling the prestigious linens and unmentionables of Yale underclassmen, Clorox began tweeting to offer its product to help clean up the mess.  The bleach product company even Photoshopped its product in a glass case atop a washing machine with a sign reading “Break Glass in Case of POOMERGANCY”.  Yale being Yale, some were mildly amused.

Normally, getting close to human excrement is not a good idea for a product placement, but it’s a marketing win for Clorox, since you don’t really call in the big guns of bleach until things really hit the fan.

Meanwhile the “brown bandit”, or someone with a similar sense of humor, has struck again, this time stringing brown stained clothes on a line.  On further…brave…inspection, the fouling agent for this prank proved to be chocolate.  No word yet on whether Clorox will help with this problem, too.

Marketing might be the best way for whoever is pulling these shenanigans to get out of this without jail time.  After all, if you could package these pranks into a killer sociology paper reframing the connection between marketing and feces in a post-industrial society and how that reframing casts light on an elite culture of entitlement, it seems like you could score an A and a future academic book deal.

Of course, it all might be bullshit.