Thursday, Dec 18, 2014
Dorothy Harris

Label lies and outrageous promises


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The label shouted this bottle was "pheromone infused." Wondering why moths would be interested in soap, a little entomology humor there, I continued reading. "Attraction enhancing body wash," the label promised, showing a little male stick figure surrounded by voluptuous lady stick figures. Should I be concerned about this?

Mr. Harris insisted it was the only one of two available and considering he had a high value coupon, it fit our Financial Peace Plan. "I'm not so sure," I countered. "What if some other lady smells you in your pheromone infused state and tries to woo you away? That could be quite costly and would really bust our budget. Or," I continued, "You could be attacked by a swarm of moths leaving a dark parking lot."

"Oh come on," he groaned, knowing my ridiculous humor. "Look at all this stuff for women," he gestured, waving a hand at the pink and purple labels reminiscent of the Barbie section in a toy store. "Maybe I should buy some of this enchanted body wash," I muttered, reviewing the label.

Popping open the top of "Passionate Spell," I inhaled a delightful fragrance. "Yum, this smells good," I insisted, "Plus it will make me enchanting without a spoken word." Mr. Harris seemed to think this was an added benefit for sure. It wasn't meant to be, though, because as soon as I spied another, I had to comment. "Just a touch of happiness; why not a whole bunch," I shook my head unable to understand this logic, but enjoying the fragrance just the same. "I'm getting this," I added, placing it in the cart. Moving on, the kid and I locked eyes on them at the same time.

There are a whole bunch of new products for men which are an absolute scream to read and laugh over. At least we think so anyway. How can you not enjoy reading labels promising "atomic robots shooting lasers at your stench monsters?" I am not making this up, I promise. Nor am I embellishing on the "fresh, clean, masculine scent elves."

Even better are the names of these new products. If you are looking for some cheap entertainment, go down the men's grooming aisle and read some of the text on the bottles. We laughed so hard we cried, imaging what this stuff would really smell like if it matched the peculiar name given.

Poor Mr. Harris was hoping to shop and get out of there, but seriously we were having a blast.

I can't help but wonder what the product development meetings were like. I imagine a whole group of twenty-something guys, one upping each other, just messing around and then suddenly-bam-the upper management loves it and the rest is history, or at least a label lie.

I suppose products have promised all sorts of nonsense since the snake oil days, and maybe that's what we are getting back to now. Selling sex appeal, youth and glamour in every product seems a bit presumptuous to me, but apparently, we're buying it.

I can't help but wonder what might happen if a company put the simple facts on a simple label. No sexy stick figures, outlandish promises, outright lies of popularity, prestige or parties. Have we really become so foolish to buy into these lies or is it all in good fun?

I have to admit I found the labels hilarious and will likely keep reading them when I shop. What I probably won't do is buy them. No sense taking any chances with my man.

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