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Cottonelle - Confession - parody

Company: Generator Films
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Brand: Cottonelle
Ad Title: Confession - parody
Business Category: Household Products
Media Outlets: Television
Country: Canada
Region: North America
Agency: Generator Films
Year: 2001
Target: Mainstream
Ad Spotter: Steve "Shack" Shackleton

This is a unique look at an unaired ad concept from Generator Films in Canada -- the openly gay director of the commercial, Steve "Shack" Shackleton, looks forward to your comments on this ad idea.

(Kimberly-Clark, which makes Cottonelle, simultaneously aired a U.S. campaign from J. Walter Thompson that some found either edgy or distasteful, depending on their point of view. It was for their "wet" toilet paper, Fresh Rollwipes, akin to baby wipes. One magazine ad from the campaign shows a close up of a sumo wrestler's rear end and asks "Know the expression, 'clean as a whistle?' You'll feel so clean and fresh it will definitely change your tune.")


Michael , Seattle
What a horrible commercial!! Extremely offensive. Plays off the stereotype of gay men as anally-fixated sexual pleasure seekers (sure some are, but are all?). And why did the guy have to be effeminate? Very negative ad that I hope never sees the light of day. I would boycott the product.

Anonymous , Portland
Very funny. Turns the joke around on the viewer. I see the stereotype in it and can see how some would be offended but, the humor and twist won me. A good example of using humor to push the edge. I like it.

Geoff Coupe , Gouda, The Netherlands
Oh, purlease! Lighten up! It's a great ad, neatly playing on the viewer's expectations of stereotypes. An extended double entendre that turns the joke back on the viewer with the tagline. If the viewer thinks the man is talking about sex, then that's the viewer's interpretation!

Illusionation , Victoria, Canada
I liked it. Very funny and worthwhile.

Steve , Seattle
Hysterical! I loved it!

Shiftydog , Calagary, Canada
Funny ad.

JR , Colborne, Canada
Wonderful ad. It's unfortunate but necessary that a stereotypical gay man is needed to make str8s aware that GLBTs are deserving of all that life has to offer (including toilet paper). If a str8 acting/looking man was used, the str8 audience would simply assume he was str8, and we would gain nothing. Kudos to the director and all involved.

Sean Martin , Calgary, Canada
Jeez... why don't they just slap a "Just Jack 2001" t-shirt on the guy? Insofar as that, why not get the real thing instead of this really bad imitation?

Michael , Lansing, Mich.
Cute Ad. But very stereotypical. They should never run this ad.

Howard Cantore , San Antonio, Tx.
I find this ad to be neither offensive nor edgy. Rather, it is a classic (and sophomoric) example of thinking INSIDE the box. Could I do better? Give me a deadline.

Anonymous , Perth, Australia
An interesting advert. I came across this site while researching contemporary myths in adverts on the net. As I've never actually met a gay person that I know of, I don't know if they are as stereotyped as they are portrayed....but I have met effeminate acting straight people who insist they aren't gay. Either way, I don't think its a bad ad...but probably not for commercial TV as it is a little on the R rated side for children's viewing. The twist in it was good though, but I don't think it'll be one of the best gay ads produced.

Anonymous , Boston
I thought this was hilarious. I didn't find the guy's mannerisms offensive at all, and actually I thought the actor's semi-serious delivery was charming and made the commercial light and more obviously intended to be comical. I felt the double entendre was all in good fun, but I could see how the average American viewer could very likely be offended.

Andrew , Toronto
I think the ad is great. It would be an entirely different thing if it was created by straights to make fun of us, but it's not. The producer was able to take a stereotype and use it to his (our) advantage -- create a humorous situation out of a bad one -- how straight people often view us. One of our greatest strengths is the ability to laugh at ourselves and not take ourselves too seriously. If it was a leather daddy or a drag queen or a butch dyke, people would still complain about the stereotype, but stereotypes are formed for a reason and that is usually because some of the stereotypical characteristics really do exist in society. This ad is good and I think we need to lighten up and enjoy it for what it is, and respect the diversity within our own society. There are fem guys and butch guys, not to mention everyting in between in the GLBT community -- watching a fem guy in an ad will not make even the "butchest" gay or lesbian fem.

Jack , Toronto
Horrible. I find it offensive and disgusting. Please... is it meant to offend anyone who isn't into anal sex? Revolting, and if it makes to my TV I'll be boycotting the product, and complaining to the manufacturer. Stupid and silly, and yes I do have a sense of humor when it comes to most ads.

Jo Holness , Camberley, UK
Haha! Very funny! Very cleverly done and only offensive to those who are narrow-minded and prejudgemental. Well done to those involved making this ad!

John , Memphis
It is bold and edgy. I have no problem with the guy being effeminate, but in trying to be *obscure,* he (pardon the pun) blows it. If the ad is about toilet paper, he should talk about toilet paper; Instead he talks about "going," "doing it for hours," and the product. It's a cute 'draft' for a commercial, but it needs focus.

Buzz , Boston
I loved it! The language is highly suggestive, but suggestive of what? It's all in the viewer's (dirty?) mind.

Howard Freeze , San Antonio
It is just wonderful! Get over it girls!

John Roads , Los Angeles
Agreed this probably wouldn't fly for US television, but I thought it was great! Best suited to air for gay/gay-friendly audiences.

Michael , New York
Excellent! It was extremely funny and extremely risky/risque. I thought it pushed the envelope quite a bit which is perfect for me. I have no doubt this will NEVER be aired in the United States.

Joel Friedland , Forest Hills, NY
NO. NO. NO. This ad offends more people than it would attract. Ads are meant to sell first of all, not entertain. And the number of people who'll be entertained by this ad who may buy the product is far, far fewer than the number of people who may be offended.

Brenda , Toronto
Cute idea, with two problems: first, if the guy being so swishy offends anyone, just make him... not-so-swishy. The joke would still work with a guy whose mannerisms are not stereotypically gay -- he'd just be a guy talking frankly about what sounds like sex but turns out to be toilet paper. Second, there's a line about "Some guys like to do it for hours". That sounds weird to me... once you know the commercial is for toilet paper, you think: they like to do what for hours? Sit on the toilet? Wipe their butts? The fondling-of-toilet-paper doesn't come across clearly, and it just seems like a strange thing to say about toilet paper anyways. It's one of those obvious "we're trying to make you think we're talking about sex" lines.

Tim Leonard , Reno, NV
I see how people could take offense to this ad. I think it is in very good spirit. Very Funny.

Todd Hill , Montreal
Yuck-o-rama. Barfy. Strictly amateur. Cheesy. Low-budget and it shows. Glad it never aired. Ashamed it was in any way associated with my country. All ads for asswipe are patently inane though, so of course why should this one be any different?

Geoff , Geneva, Switzerland
This is great -- funny, witty, charming. Anyone who is offended by this takes themselves FAR too seriously!

Vance , Arlington, VA
What if the guy had been a woman instead? Would I have been as repelled by the ad? Probably not. The guy's effeminate manner is a central part of the humor in this ad. And I'm not sure if that's a step forward, or if it plays into stereotypes and is, therefore, actually a step back. . . .

Terrence , Alberta, Canada
Hilarious! I think this ad has generated the most comments I've seen yet. Clearly this is an ad that grabs your attention. One asks oneself: "Is this for real?" I agree that this is definitly not for kids, but any adult should find this entertaining. This actor is like a stand-up comedian doing his bit with excellent timing and delivery. It is one of the funniest on this whole website. I'm going to watch it again!

Richard , Homestead, Florida
This commercial was actually pretty funny. It was a little offensive, but not too much.

Mario Cirefice , St. Petersburg, FL
I laughed sooo long and hard during this commercial. It's a scream! I do not recall it being on TV, but it should. The guy is very handsome too!



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