Hinterland Green

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Thanks to the Swine Flu, Soap, Hand Sanitizer, and Spray Disinfectant Products Experiencing Extraordinary Boom

There's a marketer waiting in the wings for every traumatic event that occurs in our lives. I suppose it's the essence of smart marketing and in light of the tight economy, every scary situation is potentially a new income stream. Now they are telling us to use the hand sanitizer or you will get sick or worse, come down with the swine flu. To date, millions of soaps, hand sanitizers, disinfectants, among others, have literally flown off the store shelves. This latest flu outbreak has been a boon for the biocide industry, perhaps, rivaled only by the popularity of the Slinky and the Pet Rock back from the 70's and 80's

Companies such as Henkel, which manufactures Dial Soap, Johnson and Johnson, which makes Purell Hand Sanitizer, and Lysol have began stepping up their marketing since news of the Swine Flu hit. The problem is these seemingly clever marketing schemes have attempted to disguise themselves as public announcements of disease prevention, but what they really offer is a cure, which always features their own product as the saving grace our nation has been waiting for. Right. It's all about capitalizing on a trend.

Though the Swine Flu has potential dangers, there's nothing that will take the place of good old-fashioned precautionary measures and hand washing after being in public areas. That's clearly not what the hundreds of salivating entrepreneurs who have already jumped on the bandwagon of preventative products want to hear. We have seen some crazy concoctions hit the Internet lately. Do a Google search and you will find Swine Flu Protection Kits, going anywhere from $10, on up to $40 on the popular Amazon Website. These kits feature sanitizing wipes, face masks, and rubber gloves. According to the Wall Street Journal, New York ad agency, Digo, has also joined the crowd with a line of whimsical designer face masks, each with its own creative design, catchy slogan ('”It's Not me, It's You”), and $100 price tag (goes to charity they tell us). This is another onslaught of wasted energy and unnecessary products that some gullible consumers will, no doubt, fall for. People wash your hands regularly, cover your mouth when you cough and cover your nose when you sneeze. You will see that most of these products aren't worth your hard-earned money and when the threat level is reduced, they will sit in a bathroom cabinet or under your kitchen sink, until they expire and you throw them out. Waiting, perhaps, for the next traumatic event to occur.


karmen said...

For most of us, this article is probably an accurate depiction of hand sanitizer's not being necessary. Most adults can be relied on to do the right thing in terms of washing their hands after coughing or sneezing. School children on the other hand, are swimming in a proverbial petri dish in their classrooms. Going to the bathroom to wash their hands after each time they cough or sneeze is just not practical. Hand sanitizer's (particularly during flu season) in the classroom seems like an adequate substitute, along with some basic education on how to properly use them (ie. not ingesting them).