Starting with Toilet Paper.
I encourage you to visit fellow Bathroom Blogfester Joseph Michelli whose Quality Toilet Paper post says it all about the retail experience. He is the author of The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary Into Extraordinary and about to address the Zappos experience.
By the way, I've just discovered ToiletPaperWorldBlog as well as Toilet Paper - no surprise, toilet paper is a relatively modern invention... perhaps not 'stuck in the 60s', but close.
In March 2010, I came across Cottonelle to Roll Over Tissue Results on Oscars which claims that the brand has started "a two-way dialogue with consumers -- something we haven't seen in this category for some time." Cottonelle has done so via a debate: do you load the toilet paper roll over or under? Roll-orientation: Cottonelle to resolve the over-or-under toilet paper debate documents the results. Over wins hands-down. Naturally.
The article refers to a product that the brand introduced during the Academy Awards, "an innovation that will give consumers a 'better toilet paper experience.'" I've searched, but I'm not sure what that is.
However, I did find The Tissue That Tanked from 2002.
Personal Care Products
Next, from May, I came across Kim-Clark Veep Talks Turkey About Personal Care. The interview makes interesting points about the marketing of products that are intensely functional yet have also evolved into personal care products. These categories have traditionally had "some taboo or stigma associated with them" and were "really born out of institutional roots....And the consumer thinks of them as personal care..."
As it relates to Kotex marketing, VP Marketing Andrew Meurer states "if you pull up any current TV ads, both ours and competitors', they hearken back to the 1960s; they aren't addressing today's woman at all. You see companies talking to women in a very paternalistic fashion; you see euphemisms used to try to communicate."
Sounds like an amazing opportunity to better meet consumer needs.
I've always been partial to silly potty dances. I'll have you know that Kimberly-Clark Pull-Ups Reinvents 'Potty Dance' and I have the video to prove it. What do you think? Will your toddler go for it? How 'bout you?
[Subscribers, click on this link to Do The Potty Dance on YouTube.]
Kitty Bathroom aka KittyLitter
Have you heard of "Double Duty" from Church & Dwight 's Arm & Hammer specifically developed to help you with your kitty's solid waste? Read all about it in Addressing Your Cat's... Ahem ... Solid Waste where, to communicate the product's value, "the brand decided there was no room for euphemism."
Same as for personal care products.
What I observe from these various product introductions and interviews is that toilet paper, bathrooms and bathroom related products are no longer 'stuck in the 60s.' Product marketers have started paying attention to conversations taking place among consumers who aren't willing to be ignored, patronized or made uncomfortable. They are responding and focusing more on what matters.
What about in your world: what have you observed? What is 'stuck in the 60s?'
Happy Bathroom Blogfest 2010!