After a seven-year hiatus, Charmin is returning to Times Square to provide the desperate with “the best seats on Broadway.”
The Procter & Gamble brand has opened a pop-up space between 48th and 49th streets in New York City to offer 14 clean and free public bathroom stalls to those in need.
“There’s a real need in New York — especially during the holiday season — for free, clean public bathrooms,” says Charmin brand manager David Mullaly. Chairman had previously provided free public restrooms in Times Square during the holidays from 2006 to 2010, but had since moved on to providing other options, such as a “Van Go” promotion earlier this year, through which consumers could summon a bathroom-quipped truck for their needs.
“We wanted to find other places with bathroom [deficiencies], but Times Square still had a real need,” Mullaly says. “We wanted to make sure we gave the most bathroom experiences [this year]. There’s 14 stalls here and no [wait] for driving.”
The space will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Dec. 6 - 24, offering various themes (such as a view of Mt. Everest; an underwater seascape or a “Lantern Festival” peaceful space featuring serene photos of candles) for people to — as the brand says — “Enjoy the go.”
“We know different people look for different things when they enjoy the go,” Mullaly tells Marketing Daily on a call from the Lantern Festival stall (presumably to get away from background noise). “We also know people might want to have different experiences [on different visits].”
While acknowledging the need for clean public bathrooms in Times Square will continue long after Dec. 24, the brand has only committed to the space until right before Christmas to account for the expected pre-holiday tourist rush. Mullaly, however, didn’t rule out continuing the venue in another space, or in other areas.
“We’re always about providing better bathroom experiences,” he says. “That need doesn’t go away. We’re going to continue to provide those experiences after this.”