“Could toilet paper actually be the next frontier in affordable luxury? The Europeans and the Japanese are already all over it,” writes Dale Hrabi in his latest article for Radar Online magazine.

What’s interesting isn’t so much the concept of luxury TP, but the way some brands are going to market with their luxury brands. There’s obviously work to be done here when it comes to adding value to… well… toilet paper, but our European counterparts seem to have gotten a head start.

There, the logic of “if A=B, and A=C, then B=C” has been adapted to toilet paper: If luxury is sexy and toilet paper is a luxury, then toilet paper is sexy.

(Thanks to Spanish TP maker Renova, I have a whole new appreciation for hanging out in the bathroom now. For the full campaign, follow the link to their “advertising” section.)

What’s interesting about Renova’s campaign is that the company isn’t afraid to come out of the (water-) closet when it comes to toilet paper usage: Their slogan (“the pleasure of being clean”) explores the value of toilet paper and hygiene far beyond the realm of simply taking care of #2. It’s also about getting close. It’s about feeling clean. Renova tells the story of their toilet paper’s value in a very unique way, which personally, I find clever and effective (but then again, I’m French).

The point is that the ad creates value, thereby elevating TP above its generic white roll commodity status. It also makes the brand sexy. Very sexy. For that portion of the market that responds well to cK ads, this brand could do quite well.

Are American sensibilities ready for this kind of fresh (and wide-ranging) honesty? That’s the million-dollar question.

Whether you find this approach offensive or clever, it works well in Europe… and I would venture to guess that it is just a matter of time before somebody takes a chance wit it in the US and gives babies and teddybears the proverbial boot. The thing is that if you don’t like this ad, it’s because it isn’t aimed at you, and that’s okay. The idea behind luxury TP is that it isn’t for everyone. It isn’t a generic product. It is meant to appeal to a particular segment of the market. You’re either in it, or you aren’t.

By the way, what does this ad tell you about who (men or women) Renova is primarily aiming their advertising at? (Who actually buys the toilet paper?)

Read all about it here. (It’s a short article.)