Have you ever bought something you saw advertised in a bathroom?
You’re at a restaurant, you just had a big meal and think you’ve got a few minutes of privacy listening to Muzak, when you look up and there’s an ad greeting you in the stall reminding you about a wings special or cheap beer in the sports bar next week.
Is no place sacred anymore? Are advertisers so desperate to catch us off guard that we need to be surprised while sitting on a toilet? Although, the ads have been spreading throughout the bathroom in recent years so I can’t even call it a surprise anymore.
It’s inside the stall, it’s above the hand dryer, it’s on the wall. I feel there’s no privacy because I’m surrounded by advertising collateral no matter where I look.
There’s nothing wrong with traditional places companies advertise. You’re seeing them on this page right now. And we expect to have several minutes of commercials on the radio and on TV, but it really pissed me off (no pun intended) when I can’t even relieve myself without having advertisements literally inches from my face. (Guys, if you’ve been at one of those urinals, you know what I’m talking about.)
When I got new windows for my house, the installation company offered me $50 off if I allowed their sign on my front lawn. I said, “No, but you can pay me to advertise on my property.” No dice. (They’ve probably never been confronted with that offer before, but I’m a radio and newspaper guy. I know how advertising works!)
It’s one thing to have my house monitored by an alarm company, but it’s even more convenient that the company supplied signs, window stickers and fridge magnets to tell the world I use the company. I realize the signs could also ensure my safety but a generic sign announcing that my house is monitored without corporate branding is sufficient.
I don’t even have to tell you about how many ads conveniently appear on your phone simply because you’ve Googled something or visited a website in the past. Again, we expect that.
In fact, my company stopped doing business with a service provider because their ads continually targeted us as a potential customer – while we were already paying them. (“Is this what my money is used for because we’re certainly not getting the results your ads promise.” Ironically, the company had a spam-blocker product.)
It’s a non-stop world where it’s increasingly harder to escape intrusion. Let us at least have the bathroom. Please.