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How We Beat Billion-Dollar Brands with Memes and Poop Jokes

In 2020, Charmin (one of the “big four” toilet paper brands) spent $108 million on advertising. What did they come up with? Drumroll, please… a dancing cartoon bear to distract you from the fact that your ass is getting absolutely wrecked by glorified sandpaper.

Meanwhile, we were on Instagram posting about post-coffee poops, the horrors of gas station bathrooms, and that woman selling her farts as NFTs. 

People with MBAs might not call that a “marketing strategy,” but that’s how we’ve made a huge dent in the $10 billion toilet paper industry. The proof is in the pudding (or the poop, rather). 

We’ve wiped more than a billion butts, taken over the toilet paper aisles in thousands of retail stores, and soared to the top of the flushable wipes category on Amazon. Most importantly, we didn’t need a nine-figure marketing budget to get there.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned since launching DUDE Wipes in our apartment a decade ago, it’s that when you disrupt and do things differently, the establishment doesn’t like to give credit. Obviously, that applies to incumbent toilet paper brands, but it applies to marketing “experts” too.

Take our sponsorship with UFC fighter Tyron Woodley for example. For his highly-anticipated bout against Jake Paul, we got behind him (literally) and put our logo on the butt of his trunks. Woodley got knocked out, but together we were part of one of the most viral sports moments of 2021.

We trended on Twitter, racked up over a billion impressions, and the moment will live on in sports history for years to come. No agencies or PR firms were involved—just some DUDES and a fighter making a deal. But big outlets like Adweek & Ad Age don’t want to acknowledge work like that.

We’re not salty about getting ghosted by the mainstream media. TBH, we don’t need their approval to take down the Big TP conglomerates. We just need two ingredients:

1. Authenticity: We stay true to who we are and never forget where we came from: a group of friends who wanted a better way to wipe our rear ends. We’re not above any fart or poop jokes. (After all, we do sell butt wipes).

2. Consistency: We’ve been relentless on InstagramTikTokTwitter, and Facebook for YEARS trying to make people laugh with fun content every day. The result? More followers than Charmin, Cottonelle, Angel Soft, and Quilted Northern combined.

Industry experts love to overcomplicate social media marketing, but it really boils down to one principle: entertain people.

When you scroll through Instagram on the toilet, on the couch, or during a Zoom meeting, you don’t want to see cartoon bears or whatever corporate jargon some intern came up with. You want to laugh. That’s why we go light on the product plugs and heavy on the poop memes.

We’re not trying to toot our own horn here. We just want aspiring entrepreneurs out there to realize you don’t have to be big to hang with the giants. You just need a bold idea and an internet connection.

Marketing is about results, not awards or attention from people who don’t care about your brand in the first place. Whether you use memes, videos, or flyers taped to people’s doors, if it gets people to notice your brand, it’s marketing.

Remember, ​if you want to win against major CPG conglomerates, be relentlessly authentic, consistent, and most importantly, patient. The rest will take care of itself.

TAKING DOWN BIG TP.

DUDE Blog