The Battle for the Hearts & Armpits of America
June 26, 2008
Or, When an Advice Smackdown Column Idea Goes Terribly, Terribly Wrong
Or Or, Why I Don't Do Product Reviews On My Personal Blog
Or Or Or, Jesus God, Do I Need To Get Out More Or What?
SECRET FLAWLESS: Oh, hi there! So I know you've always used Secret Platinum, and I bet you were a little thrown when you saw me all over the shelves, but let me explain. The whole "platinum" thing was just a ploy to make you think of jewelry, but like for your armpits, and it really worked for us, especially among girls who were dating fuckwit commitmentphobes. But now my marketing folk tell me that platinum actually gets pretty dinged up and scratched after awhile, and it's time for something new. Secret Sparkly Six-Carat Diamonds was the obvious first choice, but that tested badly with the focus groups, probably on account of that movie with Leonardo DiCaprio. So instead I'm "Secret Flawless," complete with a botanical-themed label and package shape. I don't actually contain anything particularly botanical, but Research tells me that nature is super hot right now. Plus, 5 FLAWLESS BENEFITS! Five! I dare any deodorant to offer you more than that.
DEGREE ULTRACLEAR: Hey, what's up?
SECRET FLAWLESS: What the...?
DEGREE ULTRACLEAR: Oh, you noticed my new packaging! What do you think? Six essential benefits! Marketing really went above and beyond this time, I gotta say.
SECRET FLAWLESS: ...
DEGREE ULTRACLEAR: Oh! Uh. Hey, five is a GREAT number, dude. People love the primes. What are your five flawless benefits, by the way?
SECRET FLAWLESS: Well, I've got "Skin Nurturing Conditioners."
DEGREE ULTRACLEAR: Mmm. Interesting. We went with "Skin Caring Conditioners."
SECRET FLAWLESS: I'm "Smooth and Lightweight."
DEGREE ULTRACLEAR: "Smooth and Silky Application." Check.
SECRET FLAWLESS: "Continually Renewing Fragrances."
DEGREE ULTRACLEAR: Mmm, science-y. I've got a "Clean, Fresh Fragrance."
SECRET FLAWLESS: "Goes on Clear!"
DEGREE ULTRACLEAR: Bitch, please. I'm "Little Black Dress Approved."
SECRET FLAWLESS: Well, and of course I offer "Strong Protection."
DEGREE ULTRACLEAR: Wow, that's really informative. I offer "24-hour Body Responsive Wetness Protection" AND "24-hour Body Responsive Odor Protection.
SECRET FLAWLESS: I am soooo firing my marketing people.
DEGREE ULTRACLEAR: That's probably a good call. Plus -- and I really hate to point this out, but from the top your cap kinda looks like a vag.
SECRET FLAWLESS: What? No! It's a leaf!
DEGREE ULTRACLEAR: I'm just saying, man.
SECRET FLAWLESS: Whatever, don't even get me STARTED on all the weirdness going on with your label. A strapless dress with a belt and armpit-length gloves and Tracy Turnblad hair? You know most women have stopped playing with Barbies by the time they buy deodorant.
DEGREE ULTRACLEAR: Okay, THAT'S IT. It's ON, motherfucker.
TOM'S OF MAINE: Hey. Heeeeeey. You guys. Cut it out! Stop fighting! You know, I bet if you would just cut all that aluminum out of your diets you'd be way less irritable. It's like, messing with your neurons and stuff, dudes.
SECRET FLAWLESS: ...
DEGREE ULTRACLEAR: ...
TOM'S OF MAINE: Anybody up for a colonic? There's this great place that also sells smoothies...
*KICK PUNCH BLAM BLAM THUD*
DEGREE ULTRACLEAR: Fucking hippies, man.
SECRET FLAWLESS: God, I fucking smell like patchouli now, or something. Continually renewing fragrance, my ass.