Doug Clark: Cloud hangs over potential Davenport Hotel catchphrase
Selling a product is always easier when it’s attached to an unforgettable slogan.
“The Most Interesting Man,” we all know, drinks Dos Equis. Likewise, Coke will forever be the “Real Thing.”
But what happens when a business is handed a perfect catchphrase that is simply too, um, crappy to use?
Such a thing happened earlier this month after a street punk was caught pilfering toilet paper out of the ladies bathroom in the lobby of Spokane’s luxurious Davenport Hotel.
After being confronted by hotel security, the teen TP Bandito fled outside toting a large and suspiciously stuffed backpack.
Spokane cops caught the commode criminal in the literal act of squeezing the Charmin and asked why she did it.
“I have been told the toilet paper from the Davenport Hotel is like wiping your butt with a cloud,” she replied.
Let’s pause a moment so we can all revel in the witless brilliance of this.
Now, restroom rustlers are no laughing matter at the Davenport.
Thievery is thievery. And there have been 11 incidents like this in the past dozen months, making 2013 the worst in the annals of hotel loo larceny.
Chris Powell, the Davenport’s crack security director, valued the recently stolen items at $80.
Recovered from the backpack were: four rolls of toilet paper, 40 hand towels and two of the decorative boxes that are used to cover facial tissue.
I’ve considered Powell a good friend for years.
He’s a tough guy, a retired state cop. Keeping the Davenport safe for guests is not just his second career, it’s his passion.
Powell, however, is also blessed with a legendary sense of humor. So after things calmed down, Powell fired off the following cheeky email to Matt Jensen, the hotel’s director of marketing.
After recounting the salient points of the tale, Powell wrote:
“What a great slogan …
“The Davenport Collection offers the finest toilet paper, ‘It is like wiping your butt with a cloud.’
“Kind of goes hand-in-hand (so to speak) with our promotion for our Davenport heavenly beds.
“No need to thank me, just my honor to assist you in your marketing endeavors.”
All kidding aside, that tag line does have a ring to it, but it may be a bit much for such a historic hotel.
We are talking about the Davenport, after all, not Bed, Bath & Bidet.
I take comfort in knowing that Davenport owners Walt and Karen Worthy are putting our line of bottoms ahead of their own bottom line.
You really know your toilet paper’s all that when word reaches the loitering hooligan sidewalk level.
Jensen told me over coffee that the Charmin product was chosen as the Davenport’s official paper only after an exhaustive period of tests against a number of brands.
I have no idea if anyone had to cram for the final exam.
Actually, I don’t want to know. So please don’t ask
I can only assume that no animals or children were harmed during the comparisons.
And that all the testers remembered to wash their hands.
Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or firstname.lastname@example.org.