August 16, 2014 posted by

Toilet Paper and Other Modern Conveniences


Warning: This edition of Classic Animated Advertising will be extremely rude. If you are disgusted by discussions of the porcelain receptacle found in most American lavatories as well as its appurtenances, we suggest you skip this week’s post. On the other hand, you may be one of the few who find the subject to be wildly exciting.

It may seem quaint by today’s standards… after all we have grown accustomed to seeing mama bear pick bits of toilet paper from baby bear’s bottom… but there was a time when you weren’t supposed to mention toilets on the air. What a challenge for the studio charged with selling bathroom tissues and toilet bowl cleaners! Here’s a few examples of how the advertisers skirted around the issue… or should I say, tissue?


A dance to beautiful spring flowers and pastel colored bath tissues. Voiceover by Marvin Miller.

Charmin Crook

How are the people able to remove the rolls from the package without opening it? And why isn’t the wrapper all floppy when they do? In any case it’s a very strange idea for a commercial, even for a toilet paper commercial. Allen Swift is the crook.

Charmin Town Crier

Charmin is even softer than it was in the last commercial. Lionel Wilson is the town crier.


Produced by Playhouse Pictures in 1958. Animated by Herman Cohen.


Not animation, but a glove puppet from the Jim Henson company.

Jonny Mop

Having pretty paper in your bathroom isn’t enough. The toilet must be cleaned out every once in a while. From the New York branch of UPA. Designed by Cliff Roberts and directed by Gene Deitch. Allen Swift is the little man with the plastic handle.

Kellogg’s All-Bran

What good is having a toilet if you can’t use it? This jaw-dropping two minute epic will show you how to have regular bowel movements. Kellogg’s All-Bran is the best thing since prunes!


  • Mike:
    Those were some really oddball but nonetheless interesting spots.Especially the Kellogg’s All Bran spot! It was a delicate subject to advertise,but it was accomplished brilliantly! Thanks for sharing!

  • was the all-bran ad made by bobe canon at upa?

  • That last one for Kellogg’s All-Bran reminds me of the Japanese animated cartoon for little children about how to go to the bathroom responsibly.

    • I thought I’d seen just about everything,but that Japanese potty training video fried my brainpan!

    • You think that’s all you’ve seen…..

  • Kellogg’s All-Bran is non-habit-forming? Shucks.

  • An argentinean arrives into his room in a New York hotel to find an unpleasant fact:

  • I plead guilty to aping Bill Hurtz design in Bobe Canon’s Gerald McBoing short, and further I can tell you that at age 90 I could use a case of All Bran right now!!!

  • Thinking of the days of the toilet being verboten in advertising, I think of what a champ Shamus Culhane was in putting one in this fine ad. (a minor incident but a step in the right direction if possible)…

  • Interesting how toilet tissue used to come in packages of four or even two rolls at a time; where now it comes in packages of 9 or 12 or more. (Must be that All-Bran…) Seriously though, it may have to do with people back then shopping daily for grocery items (or even ordering from neighborhood grocers who delivered!) while now it’s more like a weekly trip to a big-box store.

  • I wonder who won that spiffy Studebaker Hawk…

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