You’re a business owner.
And just when you think it’s time to start advertising, two young brothers get in touch saying they have figured out a way to reach not only a captive audience, but a highly receptive one. And the price is right. So what’s the catch? You’ll be advertising on toilet paper.
That’s the idea behind Star Toilet Paper, the Westchester-based company co-founded last year by Rye Brook residents Jordan Silverman, 22, and his 19-year-old brother, Bryan.
While studying at the University of Michigan, Jordan wondered why “advertising, which is in every facet of our life, had not come to the bathroom, a place where everyone wants to read and is surrounded with no distractions.” The brothers today have 50 clients.
“A company’s first reaction is usually a gasp or a laugh,” says Jordan, “but once they understand that advertising is all about catching people’s attention and soliciting a response, they are interested. [Venture capitalist] Guy Kawasaki is a big inspiration, and he talks a lot about how you know your product is good when people either love it or hate it. Why? Because people in the middle will ignore it, but to get a product off the ground, you need people to talk about it.” And as for those who do hate it? “They give us our daily inspiration to improve the product and turn them into product lovers,” Jordan says.
The Silvermans funded the start-up themselves. “The first step is to get a public venue to carry our printed toilet paper for no cost,” Jordan says. “When deciding on a venue, we look for a place that has diverse demographics, high turnover of people, and is surrounded by local advertisers.” All ads are designed in-house by Bryan and are printed on soybean-based inks, which the company says have proven completely safe in private tests.
Although traditional ads have been a hit on the toilet paper, a growing part of the business, according to Jordan, involves printing coupons that consumers can detach and present in a store or on a website.