Skidding to a halt at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Track thinks outside the pants with Charmin UltraStrong.
Photo by: TRIPP MICKLE / STAFF
The message Charmin brought to NASCAR’s Sprint Cup All-Star Race was simple: Stop Skidmarks.

But it was the signs that they delivered that message with that stopped people in their tracks.

The toilet paper brand cut a deal with Charlotte Motor Speedway to hang two enormous signs in the shape of men’s briefs with the words “Stop Skidmarks” above the Charmin UltraStrong logo and a trace of tire skidmarks. Needless to say, it caught people’s attention.A group of four race fans from Charlotte walked past sign after sign for brands ranging from Coca-Cola to the History Channel. They didn’t notice a single one of them, but when they got to the pair of men’s underwear, Curtis Foster, 17, slapped his friend Dino Murphy, 42, and pointed to the Charmin sign.

“That’s some big ass Depends,” Murphy said.

Foster later said there wasn’t a single other sign he noticed until he got to that one.

“That got our attention out of all of ’em,” he said.

The signs, which are located outside turns four and one, will be up all week and through the Coca-Cola 600 this coming weekend. The campaign was developed by Charmin’s agency, Publicis Kaplan Thaler. GMR Marketing negotiated the deal for the signs with Charlotte Motor Speedway.

They “Stop Skidmarks” message was so eye-catching that a photo of the sign caught the attention of ESPN’s Darren Rovell. He tweeted out the photo to his 347,000 followers, writing, “MUST SEE slogan by Charmin today at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.” It got picked up by at least one website, which underscored how a clever marketing message in today’s world can catch the attention of an audience far beyond the one in attendance at a sports event.

Charmin hasn’t committed to making similar racetrack deals later this year. If it does, it may need to reconsider the size and location of its signs. The one in turn four outside CMS blends into the white exterior of the facility. The one outside turn one isn’t big enough to be visible from the busy road outside the track.

They are big Depends, as Murphy said, but it wouldn’t hurt to make them even bigger.
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