I work in advertising and what we try to do is either create product or brand differentiation or create perceived value. Sometimes we do this by educating consumers as to how a certain product will make them feel a better person or by showing consumers how the product will improve their lives.
Of course, a lot of the time this is done in such a way that neither is true, it just seems that way because we said it would be.
One tactic which is commonly used is FUD; Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt.
Household cleaning products make good use of the FUD tactic whether it be by highlighting the millions of germs in our toilet bowl to sell bleach or by using large overlaid purple graphics to show the hidden dangers of germs festering on our kitchen worktops.
Basically, if you don’t use the right product and then touch your tap, you may die.
Anti-bacterial hand washes sell extremely well using 30 second horror stories, or adverts to you and me, to highlite the lurking dangers on our doorknobs. We all know that it’s basically good practice to wash our hands regularly so we buy Carex, Dettol and other such products because they appear to use science to formulate a more effective product than a standard bar of soap.
But recently one company, Dettol, has highlited a new, lurking, quite literally harzardous area of our household that we didn’t know existed. The handwash container itself.
Yes, the container, or more specifically the dispenser at the top.
Of course the company that has brought this death trap to our attention is Dettol and, of course, they have a solution, the Dettol No Touch dispenser. It’s a very simple concept, albeit one that will cost you more money, you simply put your hand underneath the dispenser and the technology pumps out the hand wash.
But why do we need this? Why should we be bothered about it? After all, we touch the dispenser before we wash our hands with the product, the same product that’s supposed to kill the bacteria that we may have picked up from the dispenser in the first place.
The answer is we don’t. It’s just another way for companies to push out products that we really don’t need by using our old advertising friend, FUD.
So please, give this product a wide berth and realise the simple truth. Using a standard handwash dispenser or even a bar of soap isn’t going to bring along a faster death.