Potpourri for Your Poo!
Are those Poo-Pourri ads for real? Yes, and they're from right here in Texas
If you've been on YouTube lately, you've probably seen this advertisement: a perky British redhead sits on a toilet while launching into a monologue about poop. She is wearing a pretty party dress while simultaneously referring to her skid marks as "tenacious" and creating the haunting visual image of poop as "astronauts splash[ing] down" into the bowl.
"Surely this can't be real," you muse aloud to yourself before turning to Google for answers.
In addition to the viral video that has caught the attention of Jezebel and the Huffington Post, Poo-Pourri is also a small, woman-owned business aimed at changing poop's stinky reputation.
Well this Dallas-based company certainly is real, and it's manufacturing an essential oil-based film that you spray into a toilet before your bowel movement in order to trap the poop's odor in the bowl.
It's admittedly an odd product, and one that seems just ripe for parody. But aside from a viral video that has caught the attention of Jezebel, the Huffington Post and everyone in between, Poo-Pourri is a small, woman-owned business aimed at changing poop's stinky reputation.
The company launched in 2007 after Suzy Batiz, fed up with the fouled-out state in which her husband would leave the bathroom, came up with an idea to mask the odor before the action, not just cover it up with a spray after. Batiz, who has a background in essential oils, worked with chemists for seven months to create what would become Poo-Pourri.
Over the next six years, the company moved from being available only at trade shows to selling in more than 6,000 boutiques in North America. But they wanted to go bigger.
Together with a marketing team from Utah, Batiz, Poo-Pourri's marketing director Nicole Story, and the creative team behind the also-viral Orabrush campaign "rented a cabin in the woods," she says, and began crafting the character who would become the British poo lady (full disclosure: she's actually a Scottish acting student at Brigham Young University).
So why a perky British lady to take us down this poop chute? The logic behind it, says Story, is simple. "Would you want to hear from a big, fat, hairy guy about poop?" she asks.
"We want people to talk about it. I've been here for a year, and before I started this job, I didn't poop in public. I held it all day long. I was ashamed." — Poo-Pourri marketing director Nicole Story
"This is the first of five videos [we will create]," explains Story. "We did not expect it to go viral the way it did."
But the "Girls Don't Poop" video has racked up more than 15 million views as of press time, a remarkable feat for a company that has just a few dozen employees and, well, sells poop spray.
The subject of poo is certainly not something Poo-Pourri shies away from. Pooping is talked about openly (how could it not be?) and has become ingrained in company's culture.
"We want people to talk about it," says Story. "It's hilarious! I've been [working] here coming up on a year, and before I started this job, I didn't poop in public. I held it all day long. I was ashamed. This has changed my public habits."
So what's next for the poop crew? In order to keep up with demand, the company is continuing to expand and is currently looking for a bigger headquarters in Dallas. They're also hoping to win a contest to get an advertisement run during the Super Bowl.
"It's a contest for companies with less than 50 people," says Story. The contest is narrowing down nearly 50,000 entires to just 20, which will be announced at the end of October.
As for the public? Get ready for more of their very poop-ular videos.