Elte creative draws coverage

Being seen sitting on the toilet reading a newspaper is probably not a wise career move for someone who wants to get ahead.But it does make great outdoor.In fact, a superboard for Toronto retailer Elte Carpets and Home, featured not only...

Being seen sitting on the toilet reading a newspaper is probably not a wise career move for someone who wants to get ahead.

But it does make great outdoor.

In fact, a superboard for Toronto retailer Elte Carpets and Home, featured not only a real toilet – which company staff took turns to sit on while dressed in a bathrobe and longjohns – but also a real dhurrie rug, a door with a handle and doorknob, a bed with linen and pillows, a broadloom runner, a chest of drawers, a shower curtain, shower rod and a bathtub skirt.

Drawn attention

Laurence Metrick, president of The Metrick System agency in Toronto, who notes Elte has always preferred some humor in its advertising, says the superboard has drawn a tremendous amount of attention, with coverage from local newspapers, television and live interviews with Toronto radio stations.

Promote name change

Metrick says the campaign for Elte, for which the superboard was the centrepiece, was designed to promote the company’s name change to Elte Carpets and Home from Elte Carpets, and to keep prominent the names of businesses Elte had bought: Ginger’s, a bathroom fixtures store, Summerhill Hardware and Elte Flooring.

Also, Metrick says there was the cost to consider because the launch could not be too expensive.

He says the idea for a board came from Rob Sinasac, vice-president of sales at Mediacom, who reminded him billboards should be pieces of street theatre.

He says the superboard, which was up from March 5 to April 5 this year, and again from mid-October to mid-November, drew its strength from its novelty.

Metrick says the project required a ‘bit of a leap of faith’ for Elte, a well-established company that began as a carpet importer in France in 1919.

He says it is hard to know if the superboard drove up sales at any or all of Elte’s businesses because its impact has not been examined.

However, he notes it drew attention from as far away as Illinois and he has not seen that many orders from that state.

But, Metrick continues, sales were beside the point of this Billi-winning superboard because it was name awareness he was after. (The Billis, which are presented by outdoor supplier Mediacom, recognize excellence in outdoor advertising.)

Elte has a new board due to go up in March, with its emphasis, this time, on ‘cross-shopping’ by customers at more than one Elte-owned business, so it is obvious the company is sold on outdoor.

After all, Metrick, Elte President Ken Metrick and Vice-President Chris Bolt, among others, have all taken a turn sitting on the first superboard’s toilet and, no doubt, felt, well, flush with its success.