Does your Procter and Gamble washing powder destroy your will to live…?

5 Dec
Okay...its a box of  washing machine powder...but...

Okay…its a box of washing machine powder…but…

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:

...nothing suspicious here...everything appears to be quite normal...but...

…nothing suspicious here…everything appears to be quite normal…but…

And this is the same pack from another angle:

...there seems to be some kind of important message on the back...

…there seems to be some kind of important message on the back…

And this is what it says on the back:

oh dear...

oh dear…

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.

Scary Bad.

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…!”

“Team, I feel that our job here is done. Now, let’s move straight on to solving World Poverty. Any ideas come to mind…?”

Crazy Bad.

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…

13 Responses to “Does your Procter and Gamble washing powder destroy your will to live…?”

  1. Linda Vernon December 5, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

    LOL!! Roadwax! Thank god I’ve never heard a baby shout ” Get the box of Liquidtabs out!” (I can only hope they’ve included a number on the back of the box for the exorcist.) They seem a little confused over there at P & G. Do you kind of get the feeling they’ve never actually seen a baby before? They’ve just heard tell of them? And I just can’t wait to find out what they’ll come up with for solving world poverty. They are probably frantically scouring the internet as I write this for “poverty” synonyms that rhyme with Liquitabs!

    What a great piece of humor this was — Enjoyed it thoroughly . . . and thank you so much for the shout out!! 😀

    • roadwax December 5, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

      Exactly, Linda! It is the unswerving certainty with which this truly awful rhyme has been printed across these boxes that makes one wonder. That it comes from a world and industry leading manufacturer makes it so startling. I mean, these people are not exactly newcomers to the concept of sales and marketing.

      Thank you so much for your comment. I have now stopped rocking backwards and forwards and the screaming inside my head has all gone. You have set me free. 😀

      • Linda Vernon December 5, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

        The box itself, the colors and just everything about it reminded me of something from the 30’s or 40’s. It’s so unsophisticated and corny. Oh and I’m so glad you explained about the spoon. Thank goodness you trust your alarm system! 😀

        • roadwax December 6, 2012 at 1:21 am #

          You may have hit the truth there – perhaps it really is an attempt to go ‘retro’ and sell ‘traditional values’ to the consumer?

          Mr Procter’s No.3 Infant Cleansing Sands. “Guaranteed to remove unsightly skin blemishes from even the most disobedient child”. Now available in hundredweight hemp sacks. Hmmm…

          • Linda Vernon December 6, 2012 at 6:53 pm #

            Haha Roadwax! I love it! Mr. Proctor’s No.3 Infant Cleansing Sands (ouch)! But I think there’s a really big market for that. With all the ADD kids running around, something needs to get their attention! Right? 😀

            • roadwax December 6, 2012 at 8:11 pm #

              Good point! Maybe, that makes it even more disturbing.

              Luckily for me, I was allowed to remain covered in muck as a toddler. A sort of ‘urban camouflage’. Very eco-friendly!

              • Linda Vernon December 7, 2012 at 4:21 pm #

                Urban Camouflage for babies! Ha! With all the stuff out there for babies now — like ergonomically correct bottles, I think you might be able to make a success of a product like that, Roadwax! 😀

                • roadwax December 7, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

                  Ah, the old days when we assumed that our baby was alive and well and happily playing with power tools in the garage, are long gone. No scream = no problem.

                  I’ll make more money selling an iPhone app for parents that alerts them whenever a new baby product is launched. ‘Set the app for either hourly or by-the -minute updates! Toggle “add to shopping basket without question” on or off!’

                  We dressed our near-identical babies in ‘The Waltons’ – style dungarees so that we could carry them around like shopping bags using the straps across their backs. We got some strange looks but the kids loved it!

                  • Linda Vernon December 7, 2012 at 4:59 pm #

                    Hahaha! Add to shopping basket without question! Now I’m trying to figure out what you mean by near-identical babies. Were they twins? Or did you kidnap them from the mall choosing carefully to pick two that looked alike? Or perhaps one was a baby and one was two and you just didn’t pay that much attention so they “all looked alike” to you?

                    • roadwax December 7, 2012 at 5:39 pm #

                      My wife and I conspired to have a boy and a girl within 13 months of each other. After surviving 18 years under our unstable and inconsistent dictatorial regime, they both escaped into the wild and are now hiding within the university system, surviving on a diet of distilled fruit and sugar.
                      I round them up at the beginning and end of each term and feed them.

                    • Linda Vernon December 9, 2012 at 6:25 pm #

                      LOL!!! Both of them escaped to the University system. You must be so proud. There’s nothing like a steady diet of distilled fruit and sugar. I’m picturing large bottles containing this mixture hanging from the dorm walls not unlike that of a hamster watering bottle. Of course, maybe they do things differently over there in Jolly old England?

                    • roadwax December 10, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

                      Just as with ‘Sunday-School Drop Out’, I prefer your version of the truth, Linda!

                    • Linda Vernon December 11, 2012 at 3:36 am #

                      HA! 😀

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