Thursday, December 28, 2006

Conspicuously Stupid Consumption

"The consumer isn't a moron. She is your wife." David Ogilvy

My niece sent me a list of outrageously stupid instructions supplied by manufacturers on consumer goods here in America and abroad. It seems a scathing indictment by product marketers of the public's lack of brain power.

It is funny, though. Plus, who can think deep thoughts between Christmas and New Year's?

These are my favorite product instructions, with commentary:

On a Sears hairdryer -- "Do not use while sleeping."
(But that's the only time I have to work on my hair.)

On a bag of Fritos -- "You could be a winner! No purchase necessary. Instructions inside bag."
(Contest only for shoplifters?)

On a bar of Dial soap -- "Directions: Use like regular soap."
(And that would be???....)

On some Swanson frozen dinners -- "Serving suggestion: Defrost."
(But, you know, it's just a suggestion.)

On Tesco's Tiramisu dessert -- "Do not turn upside down." (printed on the bottom)
(A bit late, don't you think?)

On Marks & Spencer Bread Pudding -- "Product will be hot after heating."
(And you expected???...)

On an American Airlines packet of nuts -- "Instructions: Open packet, eat nuts."
(And these folks are supposed to help protect us from terrorists???)

On packaging for a Rowenta iron -- "Do not iron clothes on body."
(People have in fact been known to do this. Most of them are men.)

On Children's Cough Medicine -- "Do not drive a car or operate machinery after taking this medication."
(We'll definitely reduce construction accidents if we just get 5-year-olds with head-colds off bulldozers.)

On Nytol Sleep Aid -- "Warning: May cause drowsiness."
(Wait, I'm taking this because???....)

On most brands of Christmas lights -- "For indoor or outdoor use only."
(As opposed to where else?)

On a Japanese food processor -- "Not to be used for the other use."
(Okay, does anybody have a clue on 'the other use'?)

On Sainsbury's peanuts -- "Warning: contains nuts."
(I know people are litigious these days, but jeez.)

On a child's Superman costume -- "Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly."
(Okay, the blame for this one can be placed squarely on parents.)

And finally...

On a Swedish Chainsaw -- "Do not attempt to stop chain with your hands or genitals."
(Good grief! Is this what's happening in Sweden?)

Of course, in the end you have to remember these are probably the same people who successfully sold us on George W. Bush.



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