Saturday, July 05, 2014

Men's Deodorant Marketing is Malarkey.

Mitchum—So Effective, You Can Skip A Day

That was the Revlon brand's tagline for about 20 years, up until 2005. I mean, what the fuck do we have an FDA for if an antiperspirant can get away with that bald face lie?

Today, spurred by Unilever's Degree, men's deodorant has become a field of biotechnology, at least according to the ridiculous language used in its marketing. To Degree's webpage.


Read that copy. Take in every word.

• It has RECHARGE TECHNOLOGY™? Can I plug my iPhone into it? Can I apply some on my tongue during a long run?

• It's "engineered to help you stay ahead of sweat." How-now-what? Does it go into my glands and sit there waiting with microscopic shammies?

• "Up to 3x strength wetness protection... "Up to"—one of the most powerful wiggle ad terms ever created. 'Up to" basically means "not". And "3x" what, exactly? Nothing? Water? Your shitty original basic deodorant?

•"...continuously rebuilds odor fighters..." Are your "odor fighters" nanobots, Degree? And if so, I guess your formula also includes maintenance nanoids who rebuild the fighting nanobots? Do you have a detailed diagram to show me exactly how this works?


MOTIONSENSE™ TECHNOLOGY— is this the same "technology" used with advanced infrared security systems? Does it call the odor fighting nanobots when it detects sweat? Or does this formula not have that bit of engineering in it? Should I maybe use a half stroke of each of these two Degrees for optimum perspiration excretion retardation?

(above: Epinephrine [adrenaline] structure)

• "...responds to increases in adrenaline..."Really? How does it respond? Does it...produce a chemical reaction that releases noradrenaline into the blood stream?  Does it shrug? Does it respond to both the adrenaline "secreted by the medulla of the adrenal glands...", and that "produced at the ends of sympathetic nerve fibres" (Wikipedia)?

• "...responds directly to your body movement..." OK, less of biochemical claim here. But again: how does it respond? And what the fuck does "responds directly" mean?  And, what "body movement" does it respond to, because my body moves for many hours 100% of the time after I put on my deodorant in the morning.

Degree has been running this Clint Dempsey soccer ad during the World Cup. The copy starts with this asinine statement: "Everything can be improved..." And we finally get a chart! It claims that Degree beats Old Spice with regards to a longer lasting smell of "freshness/fragrance" based on a "consumer home use study". Not a very scientific study, then. Ho-kay.


Meanwhile, above is how Degree promotes their "Girl" formula.


"FIGHTS ODOR BEFORE IT EVEN STARTS". Mitchum doesn't get as scientific as Degree, but they've got their own technologically specious, trademarked website copy. And they're basically claiming the same thing—it works on something that isn't there.

Even though "skip a day" is no longer their tagline, Mitchum is still trying to claim that it works for 48 straight hours, though less aggressively.

Oxygen Odor Control Technology™ Oxygen, huh? How does this "technology" work, exactly?

•"...releases pure oxygen...throughout the day..." Pure oxygen. Gets released. Does the oxygen in your formula break free from its water compound buddy hydrogen? Why not have your formula release pure hydrogen? That would burn everything away—odor, sweat, hair, skin, etc. Very painful, but very effective. You could call this scent version "Barbecued Meat".

Funny, nobody mentions aluminum anymore in their deodorant marketing copy—most leading antiperspirant brands contain aluminum compounds and it is the main ingredient that actually "fights" wetness, and therefore, odor. This omission is probably because of that whole deodorants & antiperspirants cause breast cancer kerfuffle.


Speaking of deodorant marketing, let's take a trip back to 2005 to check out one of the dumbest bro-targeted campaigns of the bro generation. It was this "Mitchum Man" effort which courted the dumbest, basest of bros, and also encouraged future revenge porn (far right ad, click image).

The website is long dead, but it featured a "man-o-meter" hosted of course by a stripping model.

While I'm no fan of the Old Spice "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" Isaiah Mustafa goofiness, it wins these days simply by default.


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