For those who can keep a straight face, there may be some interesting opportunities posed by Ann Arbor, Mich. startup Star Toilet Paper. Recently named a finalist in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Entrepreneur of 2012 competition, the company, founded in 2010 by brothers Jordan and Bryan Silverman, prints ads for local businesses on toilet paper rolls.
With the tagline “Don’t Rush. Look Before you Flush,” the company has already sold ad space to more than 50 companies, and this month installed its first rolls at a dance studio, a bowling alley and an apartment building in Ann Arbor. Charging $99 for 20,000 ads (we’ll avoid the urge to use the web term “impressions” here), Star Toilet Paper charges venues nothing to put the paper in its restrooms.
Not only does the concept nail the hyper-local-targeted-ads challenge that’s long been the Holy Grail of smartphone marketers, but it also places those ads, however briefly, in front of a captured audience. Check out the ins and outs of the company’s backstory at http://startoiletpaper.wordpress.com/