Friday, January 30, 2015

What's in a name?

Inveterate coupon-clipper that I am, I go through the cents-off pages in the Sunday paper like a squirrel in an oak forest.  And I notice a lot of things about the way big companies try to sell us stuff.

Here's a way of selling some hair stuff - shampoo or conditioner, I guess.  Say that it's "infused" with "buriti oil."  First of all, "infused" is now the word we see any time something is added to something else.  You take a poor old skinless chicken breast and inject some cajun flavoring in it prior to tossing it onto a hot grill, and presto! you just INFUSED that chicken with authentic Louisiana taste.

Now, for all I know, you'd be just as well off to add cajun sauce to your hair as you would be for adding buriti oil.  Or, add some lime to some coconut and call me in the mo-o-o-o-orning!

And I have nothing against buriti oil, which I found out comes from a palm fruit.  Why, no less an authoritative source than FOXX News reports that buriti oil is "An Amazonian beauty secret!"  So take that for what it's worth. And the woman in the ad certainly has lovely hair, so it must work!

My point is that there is a certain tactic in advertising and product promotion that involves confusing us with terms that we don't know. "Certs must combat bad breath, because they contain retsyn," we figure, as if retsyn were some magical substance that grows naturally on gauzy shrubbery in a fairyland garden.  But according to the Certs people, it is actually “a combination of partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil, copper gluconate and flavoring.”  MMMM.  Just the thing we all want to ingest.

Colgate toothpaste with Gardol?  Gardol is sodium lauroyl sarcosinate, just the thing you feel like brushing the old choppers with, huh?

Advertisers and manufacturers know that putting the best face on things is what sells things to us.  Even if it helps them to make us feel confused or out of the loop, just hearing that finally, our lackluster tresses will be chic and lustrous as soon as we add some buriti oil atop the melon is enough to send us running to the Try 'N' Save for a jug of this magic elixir, with our coupon in hand.

Squid (bait)
I want to open a combination bait shop and seafood carryout stand.  "Cap'n Mark's" will have squid for sale on one side and then offer calamari on the other.  And it's the same thing!

Calamari (appetizer)

No comments: