Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Happy Hour

(A follow up to my previous blog post Brushing Like an Amateur)
I'm not happy with the new toothpaste I got. What I really wanted was what I had before, which did a decent job whitening, and was a new flavor called, "clean mint" (I think), that tasted WONDERFUL. The first time I tried it, I was all "Wow, I love this toothpaste. It tastes great. It tastes like a minty margarita." I mean, I actually said that aloud. To several people.
I couldn't manage to find it again. If it was there, I must have gotten turned off by all the clinical information on the box, which to me just means "scary yucky toothpaste".
Do you not realize, Oh toothpaste makers, that taste is the only thing we really care about? Even with kids you try to do the marketing thing, putting princesses and cars on the package, but in the end, what my kids really care about is the flavor, which is why my daughter is using the Cars toothpaste, the boy is brushing with "Dora the Explorer" and the princesses are shoved in the back of a drawer, rejected by everyone.
Why should grownups have any less fun? I don't want Bubble Gum or Fun Fruit flavor, but why shouldn't my toothpaste taste good?
I know Crest is looking at my blog, so I'd like to throw a bone to whatever entry-level employee has the thankless job of vetting Google searches of "Crest" for any potential libel lawsuit material. Here is your ticket into a real marketing job. Start making fun flavored toothpastes for adults! I'd love to hit the toothpaste aisle and choose between Margarita, Cosmopolitan, Mai Tai, Pina Colada or Martini. It would be like having a mini-vacation or party for two minutes every morning and night!
Who's with me? Comment below to show your support. Let's make this dream a reality!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Brushing like an amateur

Somebody please tell me, when did brushing teeth become rocket science?

Thanks to a bout of "couponing" a year or so ago, today was the first time I needed to purchase toothpaste and toothbrushes in quite a while. I expected to hit the dental aisle at Target, decide between "fresh mint" or "clean mint" flavor, pick up some cheapie toothbrushes and be done with it.

Oh, no no no.

I only have a few expectations when it comes to toothpaste: It should clean my teeth and not taste terrible.

The first thing I noticed as I looked over the Crest section, was that it was completely dominated by their "Pro Heath" toothpaste line, which I tried during the couponing days, to find it failed completely in the "not tasting terrible" category.

Quickly scanning the shelves for any "Non-Pro" (amateur?) products, I realized that every single package is covered with an encyclopedia of information. "Fights cavities, whitens teeth, prevents gum disease, freshens breath, gentle polishing ingredients, dentist preferred, protection, defense, healthy mouth formula," and on and on.

Most of these were labled as Crest "Complete" apparently to justify being twice the price of the bottom-shelf "incomplete" toothpaste, that only cleans and whitens teeth.

I strongly suspect that the actual toothpaste inside the tubes is practically identical, and that the differences are simply inventions of marketing. At least I hope so. I sincerely hope that the scientific brain-power of our nation is being focused on curing diseases and getting us those flying cars, and not on the minutia of how to cleanse our mouths.

I couldn't find plain ol' mint toothpaste, even among the incomplete, which despite their inadequacy still bragged "with baking soda and peroxide." I just hope it passes the taste test.

Moving on to the toothbrushes, I find an array of bristle configurations from circles to waves to zig-zags, even hexagons, and wierd things that look like bicycle wheels that will spin for you so you don't have to tire your hand. I begin to doubt myself. It is really okay to buy the cheapest toothbrush? What is the latest research on the effectiveness of the circle vs the wave? Are there heated scientific debates on the topic? It makes my head spin just thinking about it.

Well, if my head is spinning, my toothbrush probably doesn't need to right?

I wonder. Do people actually read and believe all the stuff on the package? Is this how insignificant our lives have become, that we have to make a simple daily process into something so complex? Or are people just desperately making up stuff in an effort to justify their jobs?  I'm all for creativity, but let's not waste it, please.