— Vancouver Is Awesome (@VIAwesome) May 2, 2019
When I first saw these two mascots walking in a downtown rapid transit station I figured it must be for a chocolate dipped Dairy Queen cone and some new confection from Orange Julius. But no~these two mascots are actually representative of basic human excrement.
I was hopeful that our campaign on Price Tags to have washrooms installed for the public at transit stations was about to be announced by these two mascots with the predictable names of “Pee and Poo”.
But no. As the CBC dryly reports Metro Vancouver “has launched a video campaign introducing mascots Poo and Pee to drive home a message about improper flushing.The costumed mascots are part of Metro Vancouver’s annual Unflushables campaign to remind people about items that should not be flushed because they can clog city sewers and your pipes.”
I have written about the City of Victoria’s Mr. Floatie with his jaunty sailor’s cap and yellow rain boots. The creation of school teacher James Skwaro, Mr. Floatie had a thirteen year career in Greater Victoria reminding citizens that 130 million litres of untreated sewage was being dumped daily into the Salish Sea.
With promises of a new treatment plant Mr. Floatie retired in 2016, with his last official engagement (I am not making this up) with the Canadian Consul General and Victoria tourism boosters in Seattle.
Bob Kronbauer of Vancouver is Awesome immediately saw the marketing opportunity of offering a limited run of t-shirts with the two Metro Vancouver mascots on the front. Calling the two mascots “the official mascots of Metro Vancouver” immediately drew a response from Metro Vancouver’s office. While these $8,000 mascots belonged to Metro Vancouver, they were not “official”, as there were so many other departments that Metro Vancouver also managed.
A portion of each t-shirt sale goes to Surfrider Foundation that mitigates ocean and beach pollution. You can also watch the vimeo video below describing Metro Vancouver’s education campaign to not flush everything down.
Meanwhile we are all still waiting for public washrooms at or near TransLink transit stations. It’s a long wait.