Procter & Gamble UK make a huge range of cleaning, grooming and beauty products. Beginning in the United States in 1837, they have always been pretty clever when it comes to selling stuff like washing powder or anything that involves mixing a few chemicals together to spread over yourself or your kitchen.
Trouble is, they can’t write good copy. I mean, they really have a problem with creative writing. A big problem. Scary big.
This is their household favourite, ‘Fairy Non-Bio’ washing powder:
And this is the same pack from another angle:
And this is what it says on the back:
I think P&G want mother to sing these words under her breath to the tune of: ‘I’m a Little Teapot’ – that totally bonkers 1930′s hit song – while smiling lovingly at her baby.
If you happen to be a baby who’s mother is currently smiling at you and singing these words, get out quick. Crawl towards the door and leave. Never look back.
“I’m a little toddler
Short, not stout,”
Okay, this has already gone wrong, hasn’t it? Babies are almost universally stout. Take a look at your own logo at the bottom right of the pack. ‘Stout’ appears to be very much in evidence. You got a problem with ‘stout’?
“Feel my jumper,
Soft, no doubt…”
Wooaaah…right, so this is already getting way out of line. Is this a call from P&G to encourage a a new trend in baby-fondling? Are babies supposed to be admired and assessed for the softness of their jumpers? Is this how we are?
“When I get all dirty,
Hear me shout:”
Ever heard a baby shout? Did that shout include any recognised words? Anything to do with mass-produced cleansing agents?
“Get the box of liquitabs out!”
Oh dear…oh dear…oh dear…
Where does one start?
Close your eyes and imagine a dirty baby shouting that line at you.
Imagine if Sesame Street suddenly did an episode on bestiality. Or, suppose you saw Kermit theFrog with a needle stuck in his arm. See what I mean? The dream is forever shattered…
And as for suggesting that one should clean up a dirty baby by using a sachet of harsh chemicals, designed to be put in a washing machine…
Okay. Now, dear reader, (as fellow WordPress blogger Linda Vernon might say) we imagine that afternoon meeting in the Procter & Gamble marketing department when this copy was actually signed off.
“Well done, team!…Really pushed the ball uphill on this one!…I think we’ve totally cracked the message we want to send to the world!…Fantastic effort all round!…This is really going to hit the target market hard!…So proud…you guys make me so damn proud…!”
Oh, since you ask, that spoon on the draining board is mine. I got others as well, but that one is particularly damn sexy, ain’t it? My house is fitted with an alarm, by the way…