6 Simple Products That Advertisers Pretend Are Complicated

#3. Deodorant


Think about this for a second: If you stopped using deodorant/antiperspirant for even one week, you'd become a social pariah. Yet nobody had even heard of it 100 years ago -- the need was created entirely by an advertiser. Specifically, after the inventor of antiperspirant failed to sell any of the stuff, the company ran a series of ads in women's magazines in 1919 convincing women that they should be deeply ashamed of how much they sweat. Boom -- body odor prevention is now an $18 billion a year business.

From that point on, they have all worked the same way -- by using an aluminum-based chemical that temporarily plugs the sweat glands. At this point, virtually all deodorants use the same active ingredients, so they've really had to push the phony innovations.

It makes your uppercuts smell like a spring breeze!

So advertisers in the '80s introduced an amazing "double action formula" that fights wetness and odor, just like every other deodorant ever made, but with action! The '80s also brought us Speed Stick's wide stick, for people with abnormally wide armpits, we guess. Ban countered with a "wide oval shape," for those unfortunate souls with gigantic ovular armpits.

Modern deodorant is even more ridiculous, as now it comes with "motion-sensing technology." It's like a Kinect in your armpits.

There's a separate motion-sensing deodorant for men, because we all know that women wear deodorant designed to protect them while shoe shopping, while men wear deodorant to protect them while trekking through the wilderness. That's why deodorants are specially designed for men and women -- with different packaging and scents, anyway. The active ingredient is present in equal quantities in both, but by marketing them as different, manufacturers can bump up the price. So we guess a more accurate slogan would be "Strong enough for a man, made to rip off a woman."

Sorry, men, looks like you'll have to share your powerful deodorant.

#2. Diapers

According to advertisers, your choice of diaper determines whether your child sleeps peacefully or spends the night rolling in his or her own excrement. Since its invention, the task for manufacturers has been to improve on what is essentially a bag that catches poop.

"Good thing your ass was wrapped in literally anything."

This 1995 Huggies ad introduces the stretchable diaper. With strategically placed elastic strips, your baby will no longer unleash a fountain of unmentionable horror when his or her diaper falls down. It's such a useful innovation that we're surprised nobody came up with it sooner. Oh wait, they did, in 1994. And a decade before that.

So if we've had perfect-fitting diapers for decades, where can you go from there? To material that stretches in eight directions, asshole! These bad boys are designed for babies who move, not those weak, lazy babies who just lie there like slugs. Then, in 2011, Huggies introduced the diaper that changes everything. How did it revolutionize the design of crap receptacles? They're easier to put on moving babies!

Of course, the other important factor here is absorption. So, as you can imagine, diaper manufacturers are eager to convince us that their brand can withstand a veritable tsunami of urine.

Wait, did their older diapers not protect from leaks? Isn't that the entire point of a diaper? No matter, now there's a "Leak Lock System" with "super-absorbent material" for parents who like to give their kids a nightcap.

Is there some easier way to get them to sleep?

Some diapers are better at absorbing than others, but it has nothing to do with how many extreme adjectives their ads use. Not that those can help you decide anyway, since there are more "ultras" and "supers" in the diaper aisle than there are in a comic book store.

#1. Toilet Paper


Unless it's Halloween, toilet paper is good for only one thing. And unless your toilet paper is Siberian gulag quality, you probably don't care what brand it is. Choosing between kittens and cartoon bears isn't exactly up there with picking out a new car. Don't tell that to Charmin, though, because their commercials make it sound like your ass is literally on the line.

That ad says that Charmin is more absorbent than "the regular stuff," which is a typical claim. But then in 2008, they introduced TP with "diamond-weave texture," which is better because diamonds.

Strongest material on Earth? Use it to wipe your ass.

Just look at all that technology! They zoomed in on it and everything! They don't actually explain what makes it better, but apparently the public can only be enthralled by flashy, blinged-out toilet paper for so long before their assholes become complacent. So in 2010, Charmin brought out the big guns and introduced an enhanced diamond weave.

How did they enhance their weave? They didn't say. Sure, that regular weave got you through a couple of years, but that was the past. If you're not using the latest and greatest in the rough and tumble world of 2010, you might as well be wiping with a belt sander.

Early iterations of toilet paper were no game.

Charmin isn't the only company guilty of spicing up their toilet paper with meaningless innovations, but thanks to their coprophiliac bears, they're certainly the creepiest. Don't get suckered in by the siren call of a silky smooth bathroom experience -- Consumer Reports concluded that Walmart's brand is just as good as any of Big Toilet Paper's offerings, and at half the price. Shockingly, it turns out that your ass isn't that picky.

You can read more from Mark at his website.

For more ways you're suckered by bullshit, check out 5 Ways Hollywood Tricks You Into Seeing Bad Movies and 5 Creepy Ways Video Games Are Trying to Get You Addicted.

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