Pelham Bay Home Center has an eye-catching new advertisement on the back of its delivery truck. After exactly two weeks on the road and parked in front of the store, the image is raising eyebrows and prompting chuckles.
“Right Height Toilets and great savings on all bathroom products!” reads the top of the ad. Below this text sits, literally, the store’s owner John Scanlon. He is depicted on a toilet, reading a September 9 copy of the Bronx Times Reporter, smiling out at customers. His dog, Lilly, crouches next to him. “Cut that Water Bill down NOW let me show you how,” the text reads at bottom.
“Basically I was thinking, if I put a fridge or anything up there, no one would pay attention to it,” said Scanlon with a laugh. “But you see a 6-foot-5 man sitting on a toilet with a German Shepherd, I figured people would take a gander at the truck.”
Scanlon said the idea was all his and his choice of newspaper — ours — was an attempt to stay local.
The key point of the advertisement is twofold: first, to plug “right height” toilets, which is a new concept that Scanlon says is gaining popularity. The toilets are more comfortable because they’re taller. They provide more leg room and bend the knees less.
The second goal of the truck advertisement is to raise awareness about water-saving products available at Pelham Bay Home Center, because the cty has recently raised its water taxes.
“Everyone’s water bill has gone up a lot in the last two years,” said Scanlon. “That has really had an effect, so I was hoping people would come in and get water-saving shower heads and toilets.”
As part of the new truck design, a toilet-straddling image of himself was not the only gutsy move Scanlon made. On a long side of the truck, the passenger’s side, is the silhouette of a woman in the shower. The model looks slim and curvy.
The advertisement at the back of the truck is in full color and at seven feet on each side, it’s huge. Drivers can’t miss it.
Ralph Zottola, a local motorist, noticed the back of the truck right in front of him while driving. “I almost crashed the car laughing,” he said.
“One woman already came in and said she loved my dog,” said Scanlon.
“Now, whether I get any extra business from it, that’s another question.”