October 17, 2005

Science: Science-y Hygine Breakthroughs!

I love chocolate. That's right: it's not a confession a real man is supposed to make, but I'll make it. I have a deep and abiding love for chocolate, and I'm not afraid of what less courageous men might say about it.

I mean, I like steak too, of course. And sex. Lots and lots of sex; that and steak.


For those of us who like chocolate (and sex - though not at the same time or anything weird. Oh God. I'd better shut up now.) there's a certian label we know and loathe: "chocolatey". What with labelling laws being as they are, you're only alowed to call something chocolate if it actually is chocolate, and something that is not ends up spinning the term chocolatey. It is Madison Avenue's take on the whole "I smoked but didn't inhale" line: a cheap cop-out at best.

So what's triggered this little outburst?

Gillette's FIVE-BLADED razor. As if their "Mach 3 Nitro" wasn't enough for the chronically insecure man: not only did they add "Nitro" to something that the advertising tries to imply goes three times the speed of sound, but it also needed neon-infused sports cars and a triad floating, blue-lipped women to take it to the next level. I guess that was because the M3Power that was (supposedly) lifting hair right off your face didn't actually do anything but buzz. I'm amazed the commercials didn't include a barbecue.

It's much the same as the word chocolatey: they want it to sound like it's doing something for you, and if they can include some apparent science, that makes it as good as real science, right? Personally, I use a straight razor, which requires that you sharpen it before each use. It's only got one blade, but it works fine, and I've only ever bought one. If I'm in a hurry, I'll use my Wilkinson Sword Classic, which also works just fine and lasted me a month of use before I got the straight razor. These are both cheap, functional, battery-free and I'm not throwing out sixty of them in a year.

Apparently, Schick's four-bladed "Quattro" was causing some awkward questions down at Gillette headquarters. Maybe the chief shareholders in Proctor & Gamble were having problems with their mistresses, who knows? But they couldn't stand for it, even with their awesomely erect Oral-B Triumph (with on-board computer!) hitting the markets. The four blades haunted their dreams, a Freddy Kruger Nightmare from which there could be only one escape...

More. And more they got.

In 1975 Saturday Night Live ran one of their parody commercials about a three-bladed razor, "Because You'll Believe Anything!" Gillette held off on introducing the Mach 3 because so many people remembered the fake ad, finally spending $750 million in advertising the year it came out to counter the memory.

One last comment: To the makers of the Speed Stick 24/7 commercial, fellahs, if you think normal men think "competition is a 24/7 thing", then you have a lonely, lonely demographic. The only people I know who are competitive about everything, all day, are utterly friendless assholes. Is this really the market you're looking for?

Just asking.


posted by Thursday at 10:13 pm


Blogger Zoo Knudsen said...

At times I long for the unkempt days of my youth, when a luxurious salt and pepper beard adorned my face and a hearty zest for adventure festooned the chambers of my frontal lobe. But Mrs. Knudsen has decreed that I must never again allow my facial bounty to spring forth anew, and upon penalty of the withholding of her more amorous contributions to our marriage, skills honed to a fine point during her years in the acid mines prior to our betrothment. I may perhaps make use of your suggestion although I am considering laser exfoliation as well.

4:28 pm  
Blogger Thursday said...

Ah, my own dear Significant Other actively encouraged this growth - it both defines my chin nicely and (quote) "feels awesome!"

That's good enough for me!

9:27 pm  

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