June 2006: Times & Transcript

Moncton takes fresh air to the Big Apple.

New Yorkers on bathroom habits
BY JESSE ROBICHAUD
TIMES & TRANSCRIPT STAFF

A Moncton based company is using some guerilla marketing tactics to take on air-care industry giants like Proctor & Gamble and SC Johnson.Moncton’s Luc Jalbert, vice-president of Prelam Enterprises, and his business team followed the stink all the way to Times Square in New York City this week to bring their Just’a Drop air-care product to the masses.

Just’a Drop, which is available in Moncton and nation-wide at Wal-Mart and Jean Coutu, is described as “the only air-care product that suppresses unpleasant bathroom odours at the source – before they escape into the air. Parking their shiny white porcelain toilet on the sidewalk at the foot of Virgin Mega-Store, the ragtag team did their best to cause some Big Apple commotion as they asked New Yorkers to “sit down and be counted” by taking a survey that looks into their bathroom habits and odour preferences.

They were also urging passerby to take the survey online at www.odourvoter.com.

The irreverent street campaign, which has already passed through Montreal and will touch down in Toronto on Canada Day, received a number of interesting visitors such as the world-famous Naked Cowboy, who took a seat at the throne and sang a song that gathered hordes of curious onlookers.
The Howard Stern Show also checked in to see what all the fuss was about, and ran the interview twice Wednesday.

Although Jalbert hadn’t made any arrangements with City officials prior to taking his products to the streets of NYC, Just’a Drop has indeed made quite a splash as initial looks of apprehension turned to curious smiles as strangers approached the toilet.

“It’s a guerilla activity, and for a guerilla activity you have to just show up. It’s a madhouse out here,” said a very pleased Jalbert speaking from his cellphone on Wednesday as the Odour Voter promotion continued to unfold to the sound track of New York traffic.

The operation even drew attention from some of Manhattan’s finest.

“We couldn’t believe it. Even the cops were asking us for samples.”

Without the millions of dollars juggernauts like Proctor & Gamble and SC Johnson spend on advertising, Moncton’s Prelam Enterprises doesn’t have much choice but to be creative in their push to gain North American market share in the lucrative air-care industry.

As the obvious underdog in a David & Goliath battle over the world’s toilets, Jalbert and his colleagues have clearly adopted a “go big or go home attitude” that allows them to punch way above their weight.But so far the advertising campaign is paying off for the company that produces
its biodegradable product in the Moncton Industrial Park.

Prelam is also looking to markets in Japan and the United Kingdom. “I think we’re going to make a splash in the United States. It’s the beginning of it, we still have a lot of work to do though, nothing is easy,” said Jalbert.

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