So I've been buying the 200-ounce bottle of Tide laundry detergent for some time. Imagine my surprise when the new jug arrived with the rest of my Peapod grocery order. Emblazoned at the top of the label was this message:
ounces than 150 oz.
Seriously. That's the best they can do? To challenge us to practice our arithmetic by figuring out if they did the math right?
Same product. Same jug. But the jug is larger than a smaller jug.
There's no limit to where marketers can go with this. Gallon of milk? 100% more ounces than a half gallon! One-liter bottle of Coke? Half the calories of a two-liter bottle!
Procter & Gamble isn't alone in thinking their customer base is easily cozened and rather simple-minded. Today's Chicago Tribune business section had an article about Wrigley's bold new idea for chewing gum. Justin Timberlake's bringing sexy back, and Wrigley is bringing stick back. Yes, their market research tells them Americans are hankering for traditional sticks of gum, and a brand called 5 is just the thing
Wrigley's marketing guy, Martin Schlatter, says the 5 stick "is the right size." The Tribune reports that this will "help consumers select the right serving size." Is there a lot of confusion about that, about how much sugarless gum is the right amount, not too big a wad and not so little it gets lost between your teeth? Schlatter also said 5 is softer and thinner (and will undoubtedly fall prey to all those penis-enlarging spams).
The article continues: Schlatter said the company believes that teens and young professionals will be drawn to the high-tech black packaging that will glow slightly in darkened clubs.
"Others will see that they are taking a stick of 5," said Schlatter, predicting that it will become a sought-after product.
This summer when the 5 gum is launched nationwide, you too can be a trendsetter with your high-tech pack o' chewing gum. Oh—and the peppermint flavor will be called Cobalt, which Wikipedia describes as a "slightly toxic" element, and the radioactive isotopes could be used in a dirty bomb. Yum!
Seen any other ridiculous consumer products or packaging lately?