Toiletpaper: No, we didn't. Yes, we did!!!
This is an amazing story of how what started as a joke became a concrete reality.
And how something usually dismissed as a mere household necessity became a social media talking point and viral hit.
We’re talking about our latest product: FIFTYEIGHT PRODUCTS Toilet Paper! And we’re here to tell you how it came into being amid the global coronavirus pandemic.
But before we dive into the origins of this new item, here’s the big picture perspective. Most of all, we created this three-layer, ultra-soft toilet paper sold in a lovingly adorned gift box for one reason:
To support our stationary retail business partners!
That’s why we’re not offering our new toilet paper on any online channels, but solely in brick-and-mortar retail stores that carry our goods. That’s right, no online availability!
Because stationary retailers have been among the hardest hit from weeks and weeks of store closures due to the coronavirus crisis. For this reason, we are offering them our FIFTYEIGHT PRODUCTS Toilet Paper at factory price in order to support them by letting them keep all the profits. And true to the motto ‘support your local retailer’, this is really the only place to purchase our toilet paper featuring our quirky TASSEN characters.
Thereby, we hope that we can bring some of the joy back into shopping and entice customers, despite the fact that we all have to wear a mask on our trips out in public, to pay a visit to stationary retail stores and have some fun.
Because fun, after all, is how the whole toilet paper idea started in the first place. On April 1, 2020, we posted a humorous jab at the toilet paper hoarding going on at the time. Our April Fool’s joke showed a supermarket checkout with a toilet paper roll decorated with TASSEN characters and the caption:
„Now that toilet paper is the new bitcoin, we're making an entry into this vibrant growth market. Although we're not sure how excited our little characters are about their new job“.
Without a doubt, even years from now everyone will remember the time when the coronavirus pandemic hit and changed the world forever.
And how among the first signs of a new Covid-19 reality, we will look back at empty shelfs in supermarkets because toilet paper had sold out in a flash.
Suddenly, toilet paper was the new ‘paper currency’ – or the new bitcoin hype – and we made a cheeky remark with our April Fool’s joke.
That’s when all of a sudden, things got serious!
The post was instantly shared and commented by tons of members of our community. It really went ‘viral’ (but in a good way). And a growing number of comments demanded that we go ahead and just manufacture this toilet paper ‘for real’. This ended up striking a note with our CEOs.
“At the time, our entire management and the whole team were in a constant ‘think tank’ mode due to the crisis, always looking for what we can or should do in response to corona. And in addition, we were looking for ways to support stationary retailers. That’s when the feedback from our community really brought home the fact that there was something more to the toilet paper idea than an April Fool’s joke. A new product, only available in brick-and-mortar retail, with the entire profits going to our retail business partners,” said Marc Eckart, Managing Partner at FIFTYEIGHT PRODUCTS, who came up with the idea for this initiative.
The rest of the team welcomed the idea and fast-tracked the viral hit into an actual product.
As a result, the toilet paper was rushed through all necessary steps including product design, packaging, logistics and delivery. While everyone worked from the security of their home offices while sheltering in place, this seamless process also proved the powerful team work here at FIFTYEIGHT, even in times of crisis.
On that note, thanks to everyone who had a hand in this viral success story!
A big question we needed to answer right away was what kind of TASSEN characters – and facial expressions – our toilet paper should be decorated with?!
Not an easy one, as the ‘job’ performed by toilet tissue is anything but glorified. So we imagined how our little TASSEN guys would react to the prospect of being put to work in a toilet setting – and that made the decision a natural one: Irritated and slightly amused faces? Way to go!
And of course, since this product was born amid the coronavirus pandemic, we also had to include our character with a face mask as a sign of the times.
Speaking of the current times, here’s a decision everyone who buys our FIFTYEIGHT PRODUCTS Toilet Paper needs to make: Will you ‘use’ it as actual toilet paper, or keep it as a souvenir and lasting memory of those weeks when we all stayed at home to flatten the curve and stop the spread of the virus? It’s up to you!
In any case, we hope that you will enjoy this cool new product and please send our best to our retail partners when you stop by!
Stay safe, stay healthy, and keep smiling.