How to market a toilet calendar concept

Sep 25, 2013


Hope Randall
Communications Officer, DefeatDD

An early submission from World Bank/Water and Sanitation Program: Toni Sittoni.


I won't lie to you. When I told our graphic designer about our idea, he was skeptical (maybe even a little freaked out). A calendar of toilets?! I'll admit, it's just not the first thing that comes to your mind for a product typically dominated by scenic vistas and inspirational quotes, and it's enough to make any serious visual artist raise an eyebrow.


So how did I convince our graphic designer that this wasn't a crappy idea? He knows (as you probably do, if you're reading this) that diarrhea kills more than 2,000 children/day and that a lack of sanitation is a major contributor to this tragic statistic. Sure, but that still doesn't mean that people will want photographed commodes in their cubes.


So I talked about one of core values here at DefeatDD: to break the taboo around poo, especially with a spirit of celebration for the simple solutions that save lives - like toilets. We've said it before, and we'll say it again: If we can't talk about diarrhea, we can't defeat it!


I told him about our successful Poo Haiku Contests, and how we learned that creativity and humor inspires and empowers people to raise their voices for change, which is so important for an uncomfortable, giggle-inducing topic such as diarrhea. Toilets aren't only foundational for health and well-being; they are somehow inherently amusing and funny, too. 


Finally, I talked about you, our fellow advocates and partners. I assured him that the same people who flooded the social media space with inspiring pooetry will surely do toilets justice with photography, proudly hang a calendar of places we "go" in their offices spaces, and use the opportunity to spark conversation and education in the year ahead.


I think I've convinced him for the time being, but the rest depends on you. We can't wait to see your creative ideas to help celebrate and advocate for the global right of a place to go. Thanks for joining the movement!