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June 2013
July 2013

2013-06-30 »

Reflections on Marketing and Humanity

Today I have new evidence that the human brain is made up of multiple interoperating, loosely connected components. Because I was out buying dryer sheets and there's one with "Fresh Linen" scent. And while one part of my mind was saying, "That's rather tautological," another part was saying, "That's what I always wanted my linen to smell like!" So I bought it, and now you know which one wins.

In the same aisle I found a new variant of soap with the tagline "inspired by celtic rock salt." Now, inspiration can be a hard thing to pin down, but this soap contains nothing celtic and no salt. I'm not even sure there is such a thing as celtic rock salt, or if there is, that it differs in any way from other rock salt, or other salt for that matter. Moreover, the whole purpose of soap is to wash off the generally saltly sweaty smelly mess you produced naturally, so we'd probably criticize them if it were salty, for the same reason people criticize shampoos for stripping your hair of its natural oils only to sell the oils back to you in the form of conditioner. Also, how long has soap had an "Ingredients" section on the package? Why not a nutritional content section? And is it bad when the first ingredient is (literally) "soap"? But I bought it anyway, because Irish. Salt. Mmmm.

Finally, a note to you people who would argue that I'm overanalyzing this. You might define overanalyzing as analyzing beyond the point required to make a decision. Since the analysis figured not one bit into my purchasing decision, by that definition, any analysis at all would be considered overanalysis. And frankly, that just doesn't seem fair.

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