One day we were looking at an iPad. It had a retina display. Suddenly, we realized that we didn’t know what a retina display is. Suddenly, we realized that whatever it is, it sold lots of iPads and other Apple products. Suddenly, we were faced with a mystery that first surfaced when Alberto (no last name) and a chemist, no name at all, gave us Alberto VO5, a powerful line of hair-care products made with five essential vitamins. No one ever found out what those vitamins were or why they were essential in hair-care products. Now, most of that stuff has essential vitamins that have no names.
In the ‘70s some people at Chrysler and its agency figured out that Corinthian leather is better than leather. Cadillac followed, later, with the Northstar Engine. BMW doesn’t have four-wheel drive, it has the X-drive system. Good beers have prime two-row barley. A good cereal has whole grains and not half grains. Bose has noise-cancelling headphones. And so it goes. Product claims, assisted by agencies and marketers, and companies devoted to naming are everywhere. No one really knows what they are claiming or naming.
The best of the best are household products. Household product claims contain words that don’t exist, secret ingredients, and lots of percentages. We have taken some of our favorites and put them down, right here, to be your ultimate household product guide.
Everyone loves clean clothes and we love:
- Purex Ultra Packs. They have “double cleaning power in every drop.” We don’t know what that means, but it’s double, so all other detergents can just wither away on the shelves.
Everyone loves clean toilets and we love:
- Clorox Toilet Bowl Cleaner with Clinging Bleach Gel. Non-clinging bleach gels are out. Just ask any Kardashian.
Everyone loves beauty and we love:
(We also love the words stimulate, accelerate, quotidian, Hydradant, technology, and, of course, Benzoyl)
- Revitalift by L’Oreal. It has Stimuplex. Stimuplex is very important. We are so sure.
- Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair, as it has Accelerated Retinol SA.
- Olay Regenerist Advanced Regenerating Serum.
- L’Oreal Miracle Blur with Opti-Blur Technology.
- Olay battles back with Olay Total Effects 7 Hydradant Quotidian.
- And of course, Oxy Acne Medication with 10% Benzoyl Peroxide.
We all love milk, and we love:
- Horizon Organic Milk. It has 32 Mg of DHA Omega-3, because who needs just milk?
- Wild Harvest Organic Milk, because it’s not pasteurized, it’s Ultra-Pasteurized.
We all love cheese and we love:
- Borden’s Natural Organic Valley Cheese made with milk from pasture-raised cows. (We don’t like cheese made from milk made from cows raised in apartment buildings, so this is a no-brainer.)
Everyone loves yogurt and we love:
- Stonyfield “Yo Baby.” It has 4mg of DHA and EPA and naturally occurring ALA. We hear it has yogurt in it, too.
Everyone loves to eat and we love to eat:
- Wild Harvest products that are both organic and natural. We hate organic products made of not-natural stuff like Styrofoam.
- We also love Morningstar Vegetable Meatballs, which have 77% less fat than the leading fully cooked meatball. We don’t know why Morningstar is not the leading fully cooked vegetable meatball.
- Keebler Club Cornbread Cracker Bites, which are naturally flavored. We don’t like our cracker bites unnaturally flavored.
- Keebler S’mores naturally and artificially flavored cookies, in case we’re in the mood for the unnatural. Yes, we’re hypocrites, but a partially artificial s’more could rock.
We love to drink stuff so we love:
- Powerade Xion 4 Advanced Electrolyte System. We think you drink it because it says “ade” after power.
- Gatorade. It’s a thirst-quencher. Powerade may not be.
- Honest Kids Organic Juice Drink (from concentrate), as it’s a drink and it’s honest and it has ½ the sugar of the leading kids’ drink. Honest Kids Organic Juice Drink is not the leading juice drink, and they tell you, and hence the name Honest Kids, so we love it.
- Libby’s Pineapple Juice (All Natural 100% Pineapple juice with 120% Vitamin C), because it crams 120% of stuff into 100% of stuff.
Everyone needs to clean up so we love:
- Bounty Basic paper towels are 50% stronger when wet, so we suggest wetting them before cleaning to get that 50% more.
- Viva Vantage because they have the V-Flex weave for, yes, 50% better scrubbing power.
Everyone loves protein so we love:
- Oscar Mayer P3 because it is scientifically formulated space-age protein (hence the name P3) that comes in three doses consisting of some – HERE IT IS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THIS COLUMN – Applewood Smoked Ham and some nuts and cheese. It’s a breakthrough because someone thought to name these everyday foods P3 and put them in a plastic container.
Everyone loves not to smell so we love:
- Secret Clinical Strength as it gives every woman the smell of a freshly washed, pine-scented hospital floor.
- Old Spice Scent of Victory as every man wants to smell like you’ve defeated another country in a war.
- Old Spice Scent of Confidence because every man wants to smell good enough to sit at home at night writing profiles for Match.com.
Everyone loves to not have his or her kids have diaper rash, so we love:
- Desitin Maximum Strength, as minimal strength is for someone else’s hysterical child and not yours.
- Boudreaux’s Butt Paste because it’s called butt paste and guess what? It is butt paste.
- Zinc Oxide because that’s what the other stuff is made of and it’s cheaper and good enough for your middle child.
Everyone has to you-know-what …so we love:
- Charmin Ultra Strong, because it’s ultra strong.
- Charmin Ultra Soft, because it’s 75% more absorbent. We don’t know what it’s more absorbent than but if you need your toilet paper to be 75% more absorbent than something, go with this.
- Angel Soft because it’s the ideal balance of softness and strength. If you don’t like an ideal balance, go with Charmin.
- Cottonelle Clean Care is strong and effective.
We don’t like effective toilet paper so we’d probably recommend the other products and leave the Cottonelle in the guest bath, where you really need effective.
Everyone loves his or her pets so we love:
All dog food is is recommended for Dachshunds from space. All cat litter is recommended for babies to sort through looking for nuggets and freaking out mom.
- Purina Tidy Cat Litter Dual Power, because single power is not enough.
- Cat’s Pride Litter, because your cats have pride and won’t eliminate in just any litter. They will use a sock drawer.
- Rachael Ray’s Nutrish Super Premium because Rachael Ray is only in syndication.
- Purina One Dog Food (Maturity Brand) with Botanical Oils because it’s dual-purpose; you can feed it to your older dog and you can squeeze it and wear the oils to a Phish concert.
- Smart Breed Dual Defense Antioxidant Blend with Omega 6 and Glucosamine. Please note that it’s only premium and not super premium, so if your dog dies of embarrassment, it’s on you for not buying Rachael Ray.
- Purina Beyond – Simply 9 Vitamins and Minerals. We like it because it’s important enough to be named twice and have the word “beyond” in it.
We don’t have much to say now except thanks to ad agencies, marketing firms, naming conventions, percentages, and of course our clients for writing our first annual: It’s Labor Day And We Need To Do Something That Doesn’t Tax Our Brains So We Can Leave For The Beach Column. It’s love that makes a Beyond Madison Avenue column a column.
Writer’s note 1: BMA has given me permission to have all my columns Applewood Smoked so they will be 75% more readable than the leading columns on advertising.
Writer’s note 2: Thanks to cub reporter Rip, from a large metropolitan newspaper, for the supermarket notetaking and insistence on a steno pad instead of just doing it on an iPhone.