Gee, your super-long product name smells terrific!

Sunsilk1Have to say something about the product name of Sunsilk’s new value-pack, “I wish My Hair Could Borrow Volume From My Butt”...  The idea of using a sentence as a product name goes back to at least the 1970's. Products like “Gee, Your Hair Smells Terrific!” and “I Can’t believe It’s Not Butter!” typify the “sentence-as-brandname” trend. (Any brand name with a subject, a predicate and a verb qualifies as part of this trend.) Usually the idea is to make the key product claim into the name, but I don’t think Sunsilk has quite succeeded in doing that here.

It seems like they’re following another, entirely different trend at the same time. The “blunt” trend. (more to read after the jump)


Once was a time when words like “crap” and “butt” would have been unthinkable on television. Along came Bart Simpson (and other cultural forces) and those same words became acceptable and even cute. So it is with product names. Where once marketers bent over backwards to create the most positive associations for their products, today that is not always the case.

These days it’s considered hip and refreshingly honest to use names that sound blunt and “to-the-point”. Used well, this technique can seem refreshing and bracing—or knowingly, self-deprecating—or funny-because-it’s-true—etc. Think of anti-corporate company names like “Suck UK” or “Our Stinking Corporation” (or “OSC,” developers of Deck recording software) or “The Filthy Food Company” (written about in the The Dieline).

Less circumspect marketers may risk marginalizing themselves by catering to a select few customers who really get a kick out of rude & crude. The diaper rash product named “Boudreax’s Butt Paste,” for example, has a name which, (I believe) limits its appeal.

Sunsilk is apparently trying to capitalize on this edgy, it’s-funny-because-it’s true approach.  It took some doing, but somehow they managed to work that sure-fire, edgy catchphrase "butt" into the name of their hair product. Not just one product, mind you, but three: a 7 oz bottle of “Volumizing Creme,” a 2 Oz. bottle of Shampoo and a 2 oz bottle of conditioner.

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Something I didn’t even notice, until my partner pointed it out: looked
at from the side, the two smaller bottles give it a decidedly
bustle-like aspect. —But wait. There’s more! Is it just us or was there
a deliberate attempt to invoke "rear cleavage" at the back of this
3-pack?

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