Furthest Right

The great modern product scam

eat my moistureNew from Loreal: Hydra Energetic Turbo Booster moisturizer. It’s moisturizer, but for MEN (as if you couldn’t already tell)!

Yeah, you heard right! Hydra Energetic! Not just merely hydrating, we’re talking several mythological heads of moisture-embedding manliness! In TURBO! This is a moisturizer so energetic and masculine, the effect of applying it is like furiously masturbating while sprinting through a girl’s college dorm wearing an antique diver’s suit filled with lager! Hell yes indeed, it’s moisturizer. For your man face. Not a performance enhancing device for your car, though you may be forgiven for thinking otherwise.

And with a name like Hydra Energetic Turbo Booster, what appearance conscious male could resist? It seems acceptable to buy an effeminate and vain beauty product if it’s got a ludicrously overblown name like an engine part for a Ferrari. If there was a new male eyeliner (it’s known as “guyliner”, apparently) in the shops called Bastard V8 Musclepencil or something, I’m sure truckloads of them would sell, for a while anyway.

To be fair, for all I know this product might do exactly what it says on the tin. That is to say, once you get past all the meaningless hyper-bumpf, it actually moisturizes your skin. In essence, what Loreal are selling you is some liquid chemical that you rub on your face in the vain hope that it’ll make you more attractive to women and at a retail price of $13.25 for a 50ml bottle is probably more expensive than gold. But, it is Turbo and everything, so that’s ok.

Basically, it’s simple business expediency: a product that mainly sells to one audience is pitched to a new market by simply changing the packaging and advertising campaign. The product is not new, but you can dress it up to look new and give it a manlier scent (if that’s not an oxymoron) and colour. Your average man on the street usually wouldn’t dream of buying a “female moisturizer”, but as long as it’s got words like “turbo” and “energetic” on it, he’ll fork out for the exact same product.

It’s rather like how those tiresome teenage emo/goth/nu-metal types “hate” pop music and refuse to listen to it, yet will gladly and enthusiastically consume the very same garbage as long as it’s played with angsty guitars and impotent shouting and wailing over it like a transsexual who’s just been mugged. You can apply this uniquely modern ailment to almost anything – food, clothes, books, movies, even people (see Obama, hipsters etc).

The challenge we face everyday in our society is to get past all the nonsense and see what actually lies behind. That way you can ignore all the useless stuff that tempts you with surface gimmickry but has no real substance, saving yourself a lot of money and more importantly, time. In a world like ours it’s an essential life skill to be able to sniff out bullshit and scams like man moisturizer, Apple products and voting for “change”.

Anyway, next week I’ll be reviewing the new range of Scud Destroyer desert camouflage men’s handbags exclusively designed by ex-SAS hardman Andy McNab. I can’t wait!

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