brotherpeacemaker

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Deodorant Marketing

I set a personal health goal this year.  I was going to drop thirty pounds and I plan to lose at least four inches around my waist.  I’ve been saying that for a while now.  This year I was going to get serious, eventually.  About five weeks ago I actually started.  The gym right across the street from the job finally opened and I couldn’t wait to get in there.  I’m actually in there six days a week.  The only day I take off is Monday.

Three days a week I’m running on the treadmill.  Five weeks ago I could barely run a leisurely jogging pace for two minutes when I first started.  Now, I run a leisurely jogging pace for almost an hour.  I know I need to up the pace.  I’ll get there eventually.

But most importantly I’m watching what I eat and drink.  I’ve cut out processed sugar and wheat and I’ve upped the vegetables and the fruit.  If it comes out of a box I don’t eat it.  And I used to love my coffee with a ton of sugar and crème.  Now, it is just water and unadulterated tea.  As of this morning, I lost half the weight and half the inches.  I’ve been hitting the gym hard and heavy first thing in the morning before heading into the job.  And it’s paying off.

I also like the fact that the gym has these huge, private shower rooms.   They’re so nice compared to the shower rooms I’m used to using.  The showers from my past could have served as the model set for that bathroom scene from some prison movie like the Shawshank Redemption.  There would be hardly anybody in the gym at that time of the morning.  By the time I’m ready to hit the showers I’ll virtually have the locker room to myself.

This morning, after the shower, I was getting dressed.  I had chosen a white somewhat dressy collarless shirt with short sleeves.  It looks like an upscale white T-shirt.  I was getting ready to slip it over my head when I saw that the arm pits had yellowed rather considerably.  I kid you not, my heart actually skipped a beat.  All I can think of was that commercial for some deodorant that promised not to stain your underarm.  The commercial showed a guy sitting at the ball park with a bunch of other people who goes up to catch a fly ball.  When he catches the ball he keeps his arms up in celebration.  Everybody around him could see his yellow underarms because they were made to look like a pair of yellow canaries tweeting and flapping their wings drawing attention to themselves.  I didn’t want somebody looking at my underarms and seeing yellow canaries.

I was ready to call home and have the misses bring me another shirt when I snapped myself out of my conditioning.  Before the commercial I would have never thought there was much of a problem with people having discolored underarms.  I never noticed it before on anyone.  But the commercial planted the idea that everybody is notice my yellowed underarms.  I had to laugh at myself.  I had allowed myself to be led down a path of marketing and exploitation.  I put the shirt on and went about my day as if nothing was unusual.  And to my credit, nothing was unusual.

Some people might see that commercial and start noticing people’s underarm discolor then that’s unfortunate.  Some of us would allow corporate marketing to shape our social perceptions.  All we need is another yardstick to judge people.  We don’t have near enough ways to judge people already.

Marketing companies are hired to develop problems for products that need to be billed as solutions.  A deodarant is created or modified so that it will reduce staining fabrics and a whole marketing campaign is built around this product to make us believe that this will make us a little less insecure about ourselves.  It is nothing for a company to spend a hundred million dollars to get us to buy their product at two dollars a pop.  So somebody has to do something to influence us to buy enough of those deodorants to make that marketing strategy profitable.

There are a few things I take into consideration when I buy my arm pit smell nice.  I’d like for it to smell nice.  I’d like for it to work and last a while.  And I would like for it to not make me break out or suffer some other bad reaction.  And I will confess that it would be nice if it didn’t stain my clothing.  But what really sells me is price.  Make a deodorant I can afford and I’ll buy it every time provided it meets maybe three out of four of the other factors reasonably well.  You shouldn’t be trying to manipulate me to buy your product.  Because when I come to my senses, chances are I won’t appreciate somebody trying to dupe me.

I set a personal health goal this year.  I was going to drop thirty pounds and I plan to lose at least four inches around my waist.  I’ve been saying that for a while now.  This year I was going to get serious, eventually.  About five weeks ago I actually started.  The gym right across the street from the job finally opened and I couldn’t wait to get in there.  I’m actually in there six days a week.  The only day I take off is Monday.

Three days a week I’m running on the treadmill.  Five weeks ago I could barely run a leisurely jogging pace for two minutes when I first started.  Now, I run a leisurely jogging pace for almost an hour.  I know I need to up the pace.  I’ll get there eventually.

But most importantly I’m watching what I eat and drink.  I’ve cut out processed sugar and wheat and I’ve upped the vegetables and the fruit.  If it comes out of a box I don’t eat it.  And I used to love my coffee with a ton of sugar and crème.  Now, it is just water and unadulterated tea.  As of this morning, I lost half the weight and half the inches.  I’ve been hitting the gym hard and heavy first thing in the morning before heading into the job.  And it’s paying off.

I also like the fact that the gym has these huge, private shower rooms.   They’re so nice compared to the shower rooms I’m used to using.  The showers from my past could have served as the model set for that bathroom scene from some prison movie like the Shawshank Redemption.  There would be hardly anybody in the gym at that time of the morning.  By the time I’m ready to hit the showers I’ll virtually have the locker room to myself.

This morning, after the shower, I was getting dressed.  I had chosen a white somewhat dressy collarless shirt with short sleeves.  It looks like an upscale white T-shirt.  I was getting ready to slip it over my head when I saw that the arm pits had yellowed rather considerably.  I kid you not, my heart actually skipped a beat.  All I can think of was that commercial for some deodorant that promised not to stain your underarm.  The commercial showed a guy sitting at the ball park with a bunch of other people who goes up to catch a fly ball.  When he catches the ball he keeps his arms up in celebration.  Everybody around him could see his yellow underarms because they were made to look like a pair of yellow canaries tweeting and flapping their wings drawing attention to themselves.  I didn’t want somebody looking at my underarms and seeing yellow canaries.

I was ready to call home and have the misses bring me another shirt when I snapped myself out of my conditioning.  Before the commercial I would have never thought there was much of a problem with people having discolored underarms.  I never noticed it before on anyone.  But the commercial planted the idea that everybody is notice my yellowed underarms.  I had to laugh at myself.  I had allowed myself to be led down a path of marketing and exploitation.  I put the shirt on and went about my day as if nothing was unusual.  And to my credit, nothing was unusual.

Some people might see that commercial and start noticing people’s underarm discolor then that’s unfortunate.  Some of us would allow corporate marketing to shape our social perceptions.  All we need is another yardstick to judge people.  We don’t have near enough ways to judge people already.

Marketing companies are hired to develop problems for products that need to be billed as solutions.  A deodarant is created or modified so that it will reduce staining fabrics and a whole marketing campaign is built around this product to make us believe that this will make us a little less insecure about ourselves.  It is nothing for a company to spend a hundred million dollars to get us to buy their product at two dollars a pop.  So somebody has to do something to influence us to buy enough of those deodorants to make that marketing strategy profitable.

There are a few things I take into consideration when I buy my arm pit smell nice.  I’d like for it to smell nice.  I’d like for it to work and last a while.  And I would like for it to not make me break out or suffer some other bad reaction.  And I will confess that it would be nice if it didn’t stain my clothing.  But what really sells me is price.  Make a deodorant I can afford and I’ll buy it every time provided it meets maybe three out of four of the other factors reasonably well.  You shouldn’t be trying to manipulate me to buy your product.  Because when I come to my senses, chances are I won’t appreciate somebody trying to dupe me.

Thursday, June 24, 2010 - Posted by | Life, Thoughts

7 Comments »

  1. That was a nice essay about being manipulated by ads to buy something you really don’t want nor need. 🙂

    Congratulations on your fitness improvements too. These come at a price however, as my sometimes aching shoulder (rotator cuff) and knee (torn meniscus) can tell you.

    Comment by blueollie | Saturday, June 26, 2010 | Reply

    • Thanks for the feedback blueollie,

      But I hear you! No pain no gain. My left rotator cup is killing me now. But that’s okay. It’s not that bad so I’m going to work through this. The run this morning had me doing 3.8 miles and I lost another two pounds. I plan to hit my goals and then some by the end of July!

      Peace

      Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Saturday, June 26, 2010 | Reply

  2. Weren’t you manipulated into buying any and all of that stuff to begin with?

    As a stinky pits man myself, I understand the need for deodorant, but think back a few generations and ask yourself…before Madison Avenue advertising agencies went into business, how many guys actually knew of and wore deodorant to begin with….who knew we needed the stuff and refused to deal with us until we put it on?

    Comment by Mike Lovell | Saturday, June 26, 2010 | Reply

    • Thanks for the feedback Mike Lovell,

      What I meant to say was “further manipulation”. And frankly, my underarm smells so bad at times I know I would’ve invented deodorant if it hadn’t been invented already. Trust me!

      Peace

      Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Saturday, June 26, 2010 | Reply

      • yeah, my wife says the same thing about me!

        Comment by Mike Lovell | Saturday, June 26, 2010

  3. Don’t kid youself, everyone noticed your yellow pit stains. And its got nothing to do with advertising and everything to do with good hygiene.

    Comment by frank | Sunday, July 25, 2010 | Reply

    • Thanks for the feedback frank,

      I didn’t know keeping good hygiene caused yellow arm pit stains. Who knew?

      Peace

      Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Sunday, July 25, 2010 | Reply


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