P&G’s New Personal Hygiene Product

By Michael Kaufman

CINCINNATI (April 1) — Procter & Gamble announced plans today to launch a new personal hygiene product based on the long-term success of the company’s Head & Shoulders line. The new product will be identical to Head & Shoulders shampoo, but will be marketed as body wash under the name Buttocks and Genitals, said Robert (Bob) McDonald, company CEO.

The body wash will be packaged in smaller containers than the shampoo and sold at a higher price. Different packaging will be used to target male or female consumers and the product for women will be priced higher. “We expect this to be a blockbuster,” said McDonald, who said the company conducted extensive market research and rigorous clinical studies before moving forward with the launch.

“Our research showed that consumers will readily pay more to get less,” he explained. “Just look at the shelves at your local supermarket. Remember when there was enough tuna in a can to make sandwiches for two or three people? Nowadays a can of tuna is so small you’re lucky to get one sandwich out of it. But I don’t complain and I don’t hear anyone else complain either.”

McDonald noted that the pharmaceutical industry has also found it profitable to use the technique. “When Merck found out that men taking Proscar to treat prostate cancer grew new hair, they marketed smaller amounts of the active ingredient in Proscar as Propecia … and charged more for it. It just makes good business sense.”

Thousands of consumers took part in the Buttocks & Genitals clinical trials, which compared the new product with other leading body washes. Participants were randomly assigned to use Buttocks & Genitals and a different product to wash one or the other butt cheek. Validated questionnaires were used to determine consumer satisfaction with each product. Significantly more participants agreed with the statement, “My buttocks feel clean and fresh” after using Buttocks & Genitals. The findings were similar for men and women of all ages, races, sexual orientation and political persuasion.

“Only two participants withdrew before completion of the study,” said McDonald, “but the withdrawals were deemed not related to the products. Both were members of the ‘tea party’ movement and they just couldn’t find their buttocks with both hands.” Trials involving the genitals are currently under way, with interim findings indicating a trend in favor of Buttocks & Genitals.

A massive advertising campaign will accompany the launch, culminating in a Super Bowl ad featuring the cast of The West Wing. Zest of Orange has obtained an advance copy of the ad, which opens with the president somberly addressing a cabinet meeting. “I think the time has come for America to address the canal problem.” “The Panama Canal?” asks a cabinet member. “No,” says the president. “The Suez Canal?” asks another. “No,” replies the president, “I mean the anogenital canal!”

Michael can be reached at Michael@zestoforange.com.


2 Responses to “P&G’s New Personal Hygiene Product”

  1. LeeAgain Says:

    Michael, your entry may have been posted on March 31, but I’m reading it on April 1st, and I must say it is entirely appropriate.

  2. JeffreyPage Says:

    Michael, Funny stuff. Did you happen to catch the Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC Thursday morning? Very straight, very deadpan, Brian announced a news bulletin from Washington. About how the Supreme Court had voted 5-4 to give corporations the right to vote. He then proceeded to spend a full 20 minutes interviewing experts in constitutional law about the implications. The logic was that since the Supremes had ruled that corporatuions had free speech rights, then the right to vote had to follow. And of course, the ultimate question: Could a corporation marry.

    Jeffrey Page

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