Tag Archives: advertising

Reading Lables

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When normal relief isn’t good enough.

Yesterday after I used my inhaler I held my breath and read almost every word on my tube of dermatologist tested INTENSE RELIEF hand cream, except for the French.  I find if I distract myself from the fact that I have stopped breathing it’s easier to keep the inhaled ventolin in my lungs longer so that it will have a better chance to do whatever it’s meant to be doing in there.

I am an obsessive reader of labels when it comes to food products.  I religiously read patient leaflets included with medical products to see if they agree with what the doctor and the pharmacist advise.  And also to check out all the possible side effects so I can imagine I am experiencing them.  I read the instructions on recipes too.  Sort of.  Unless I don’t feel like it.  But that’s getting off topic and away from my point.  I often do have a point, in case you hadn’t  noticed.

What I don’t pay much attention to is all the blather on the labels of self-care products like shampoo and body wash and creams and lotions.  After getting myself all informed about the benefits of my amazing hand cream, (and then gasping for breath before passing out) I went around the house reading other descriptions and instructions on random product lables.  Turns out they are simply loaded with adjectives which may or may not be accurate or even make sense.

Yes, my life is exactly this thrilling on a normal day.

But that is not my point either. My point is, advertising can be devious and deceptive but mostly just damned confusing.  I have compiled a list of examples for you.  (I am nothing if not predictable).

  • velvety smooth, silky smooth, smooth and soothing
  • long lasting, all day, 24 hour
  • humidity resistant
  • strong but flexible
  • advanced moisture therapy
  • deep moisturizing
  • total moisturizing
  • deeply hydrating
  • protective hydration
  • shielding emollients
  • fast absorbing
  • gently absorbs
  • pure
  • enriched with vitamins and skin essential lipids
  • non greasy
  • soft, luxurious
  • skin perfecting
  • exotic vitality (if you’re shopping for vitality, the exotic variety is no doubt the best)
  • glow renewal
  • hydra nutrition
  • sulphate/phthalate/paraben/alcohol/petroleum/etc. free
  • unique
  • eco friendly
  • certified organic
  • all natural
  • 99% plant based (the other 1% could be made from snakes….)
  • refreshes and revitalizes thirsty skin
  • locks in volume

How impressive is that last one?  Because no one wants their volume to break free and go gallivanting off into the stratosphere.

You might surmise from this long list that I have a thousand or more beauty products stashed away in my home.  I don’t.  These are all written on shampoo, conditioner, body wash, hand soap, lotion, and a couple of hair care products.  Maybe there was one from my dish soap, I can’t remember.

I have what I thought were pretty ordinary apple/green tea and coconut/cocoa butter shampoos (because who doesn’t want their hair to smell like lunch) but on closer examination it turns out they are made from Farm Harvested green apples, Chinese green tea extracts, South Pacific coconut oil and West African cocoa butter extracts.  Wow.  Who runs around the world collecting all this crap. I’m pretty sure no one.

Most confusing of all is what sometimes follows all this blather about how wonderful and pure and amazing the stuff is.

  • for external use only, do not swallow
  • discontinue use if rash or irritation occurs or worsens
  • avoid contact with eyes
  • keep out of reach of children

If there is truth in advertising I think it’s mostly of the stretched variety.  Now I realize there is no point in complaining if you aren’t willing to come up with positive changes. So here is an example of something  I would like to see on my bottle of conditioner.  “Regular use ensures that your hair will no longer stand on end, crackle with enough static electricity to light up a dark room, or have the potential to set your sheets on fire.”

Come on, admit it.  You would for sure buy that.

 

 

Art du Jour 71

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Can you make something beautiful out of useless advertising? Yes you can. Depending on your definitions of “useless” and “beautiful”.

Many trees died so that I could create something weird and interesting for you to look at. Even though we have put a vacation stop on our newspaper, those flyers just keep on coming. I’ve always thought it would be a great idea to put a blue box at the front door with a sign on it requesting that all junk mail be deposited in it. This would save me a lot of time and angst and energy. And all those colourful glossy Christmas ads could be used to wrap presents.

Although I have never done either of those things, now I can say I have recycled some of that great mountain of advertising into my art.

Will I be doing this with actual garbage next?  Well, probably not.  I did discover that grocery flyers are made of extremely cheap paper and ink not meant to last.  I guess that’s a good thing.

Considering my materials, I am very pleased with this end result and might even hang it up somewhere.

Just Another Great Canadian Sunday

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It’s not every day I take a picture of my shampoo, so you know there’s got to be some kind of weird story behind it, right?

There’s a really good reason for me staying at home while W does most of the shopping. He is able to pick up all the items on a list, no more and no less. I admire that about him. Well, about anyone, really. The lists I take with me become vague guidelines once I enter a store. My cart fills up, and when the cashier wants to know if I found everything I was looking for I just smile and nod. Because explaining that I made six substitutions and changed my mind ten times and probably forgot at least three essentials but now couldn’t be bothered looking for them because I’m exhausted and don’t want to retrace my steps and just would like to be done with shopping and go home…..I don’t think she really wants to hear all that.

Anyway, back to the shampoo. I find it very hard to resist a good deal, even though I also firmly believe you get what you pay for. So I am one of those annoying shoppers with way too much time on my hands who will block an aisle while I check out ingredients and best buys and packaging and brands and on and on so you can see why the process is exhausting. And yes, the shampoo, I’m getting to that, I swear.  Although you can’t see it clearly in my photo, right at the top it says Proudly Canadian and underneath that, Fiers d’être Canadiens which roughly translated means proud to be (a French-speaking) Canadian.

And this bottle of shampoo cost One Canadian Dollar. OMG.

What in the world makes a shampoo uniquely Canadian? Being manufactured in Toronto? And why is it so CHEAP?? Is it complete Canadian/Canadien crap? Is this one of those instances where the store made a crazy deal and is passing the savings along to consumers? If I use this stuff will my hair turn to dandelion fluff and blow away in a high wind? Do I have any Advil at home for this headache? Better pick some up.

Anyway, long story short, although it’s too late for that, I have used this shampoo twice now and am happy to report no disasters so far. My hair is clean and shiny and still attached to my scalp.  If the Daily Basics people would like to pay me for endorsing their product I would be perfectly fine with that.  Although perhaps with that retail price they don’t have much of an advertising budget.

So that was a rather successful impulse purchase, which I believe offsets this next one.

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When W is away I drink Tassimo coffee, because I can’t figure out how to get the other coffee maker to brew half a pot that tastes right, and although the Tassimo coffee is more expensive, it likely all evens out because I’m not dumping half a pot of coffee down the sink every day. By now, if you are still reading this I’m sure you are wondering where all this information is coming from, but, more importantly WHY I’m telling you all this shit in the first place. I wish I knew. Or maybe neither of us cares but there appears to be nothing much else going on for us at the moment, so what the hell.

What I wanted to buy was a double sized Tassimo coffee in a breakfast blend. There was none to be found on the shelves, and this was the only double sized there, and the midnight eclipse thing was very appealing to me. Midnight eclipse for breakfast. Why not? BOLD is not an exaggeration I’m here to tell you. This stuff will knock your socks off. Thank God I never wear any.

Okay, I’m going to paint something now to forget the trauma of shopping. After that coffee I will probably be awake for three days. With great Canadian hair.

Have a scintillating Sunday. If it’s not too late for that.