I Always Feel Like... Somebody's Watching Me!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Read the Fine Print

If you look closely, there are advertisements, slogans, nutritional advice, recipes, directions and games printed all over the house. On our food and body products, that is. I don't pay much attention to most of them. But doesn't everyone read the cereal box at breakfast? There's something mind-numbing and soothing about reading the vitamin and mineral content, and now that we have more kid varieties - there's usually a maze with some cartoon boy racing through with his skateboard. Breakfast, around here at least, is not ripe with conversation, so the box gets a lot of attention.

But companies pay a lot of "branding" money to fill up every possible spot on their packaging. If you bought that box of barley for a one-time recipe and don't know what to do with the rest, I guarantee there is a recipe on the box. The Catch-22 is that the recipe usually calls for more than you have left...off to the store to buy another barley I don't know what to do with!

It's every once in awhile that I catch something ridiculous. Either the manufacturer paid too little or too much for the writing on the side of the bottle.

Too little money:

Mouthwash, "Rinse or gargle after meals and before social engagements." Straight out of a 1950's etiquette video! If you're reading the mouthwash label actually looking for directions - I think there's a problem.

Too much money:

Paul Mitchell Hair Serum, "Spend more time living and less time styling! Super Skinny Complex helps smooth hair fast with reduced dry time." Yay! More time for living! Is that why I spent the extra $10 on this product? A longer life?

Another place I always find myself staring at the packaging is in the shower. The shelf is eye-level, whatever, I don't know why. I love how every brand recommends using their products for every step along the way. Use this shampoo with our conditioner, styling products, deodorant, toothpaste, razors and socks! It's the only way it will work.

Pantene is good at stating the obvious. "Pantene Pro-V Full & Thick Shampoo. You have: thin hair. You want: Thick, full and strong-looking hair." Glad that's cleared up.

And other products hype themselves up to be way more than they really are. Kiss my Face Shaving cream, "Hope you love our shave! There's never a dull moment with this moisturizing formula! Try all of our other soothing scents to expand your shaving experience!" That's right, never a dull moment while you are scraping the hair away from your body with a razor. Now I'll pay attention...

It's fascinating if you notice the fine print telling us how, when and where to use the products we've purchased. Stay tuned for the kitchen fine print post!

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