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No, Tushy bidet brand, nobody needs to hear your toilet-pun messages of support

Brand Twitter has become a tidal wave of vague support, but this one took things to a new level of absurd.

No, Tushy bidet brand, nobody needs to hear your toilet-pun messages of support
[Image: joshborup/Pixabay]

As we’re all more than aware, brands have been finding their own way (usually the same way) across social media to express their shock, sadness, and solidarity in response to the killing of George Floyd while he was in the custody of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

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Some, such as Nike, have taken the aesthetic and words we’re used to seeing from their marketing to create something new. Others, such as Viacom, have crafted new messages to convey the sheer magnitude of the tragedy we’re protesting. And, of course, there are plenty who profess support in words but fall woefully short on action.

Then there’s Tushy.

The bidet startup founded by Thinx founder and former CEO Miki Agrawal decided that it could share its message of support without sacrificing its peppy social-media voice.

So Tushy’s message of support is laced with . . . toilet puns.

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Look, brands have spent the better part of two decades trying to figure out how to create and cultivate a “personality” to better connect with consumers in an always-on marketing world. They see the Steak-Umms and Moon Pies and Netflixes of the world go viral, garnering millions of eyeballs and fans along the way. The most charitable interpretation here is that perhaps this can be a tough instinct to turn off, even at a time like this.

Think what this would look like with more iconic brands and their brand messages. Maybe McDonald’s goes with “I’m (not) lovin’ it!” Or KFC’s “Finger Lickin’ Good (Justice).” Or Dunkin’s “America Runs (from riot police) on Dunkin.”

Making brand-referential jokes while also trying to appear selfless isn’t a good look. The brand decision to maintain its everyday social voice, which in this case is based in humor, just doesn’t work.

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About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.

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