Chris Tavlarides promises business clients that people will be standing in line to read their advertisements, and he’s not kidding.
Tavlarides is president of Bathroom Billboards, a company that places advertising placards over the restroom urinals and toilets of restaurants, nightclubs, bars and movie theaters.
“Regardless of whether you’re interested or not, you’ll read it because there’s nothing else to do,” said Tavlarides, 22.
In his sales pitch to prospective clients, Tavlarides boasts “a captive audience for a prolonged period of time” and “close-up, high-impact placement” with “maximum exposure” for their ads.
A year after they opened their business in a residential garage in northwest Washington, Tavlarides and his partner, cousin John Polis, 23, are flushed with success, so to speak.
They’ve signed contracts to mount billboards in the restrooms of 105 businesses from metropolitan Washington to the beach resort of Ocean City, Md., on behalf of four advertisers--a brewery, a rock-music radio station, a Washington newspaper and a local office supply company.
Tavlarides charges clients an average of $100 a month for placing eight ads in men’s and women’s restrooms in a restaurant.
People are much more likely to pay attention to a sales pitch at potty time than a TV commercial or a magazine ad, Tavlarides said.
“You gotta do what you gotta do,” he said. “You can’t switch channels, you can’t turn the page, you can’t ignore it.”