Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Marketing Coup...


While CNN-IBN debated the imaginary (or IE would like to believe otherwise) coup, there has been a coup going on for years - the Marketing Coup... Would I be right when I say that the Indian male has been left hapless and proven to be extremely vulnerable to marketing attacks? I'll just prove my point below...

All of six years ago, all my closet had in the name of “Personal Grooming” was a small kit which contained a Head & Shoulders shampoo, an Old Spice Deo, a safety razor (the legendary ‘Red’ Vector Plus), a shaving brush and a Palmolive Shaving Cream (with 30% extra).

Then, about two years later, when I had got my first job (though I didn’t join is a different matter), I bought myself a Mach-3 – it had three blades as against my twin-blade Vector!!! I also added a Davidoff Cool Water though with extreme caution and reluctance. Little else changed.

Then, after I had got my first salary (just the internship, mind you), I bought myself an aftershave liquid – of course it was the age-old white bottle in a red pack – Old Spice – the music and the visual of that man surfing the waves was far too enticing for me to save my hard-earned money - and of course, Old Spice was the "Mark of a Man"...

All this while, it was just the bare-boned shaving accessories, a shampoo (the variant did not matter), a Deo for daily use and the perfume for those special occasions...

But a devil – some called it being ‘metro-sexual’ – was waiting in the closet – quite literally... And I didn’t quite stand a chance against the armies of multinationals wielding the new-age weapons of marketing...

Soon, a new Deo, this time a Lomani was added. I felt I needed a change sometimes from my strong Old Spice... And the barriers of self-control were broken...

Within no time, the Mach-3 got converted to the more expensive Mach-3 Turbo! I added another after shave splash – this time with the international flavour of Gillette. Later, when Gillette launched the after-shave lotion worth Rs.399 – I felt compelled to purchase that too – that it has the efficacy it promises is another matter but 399...!!! Suddenly, the 399 felt like worth it where just two months I didn’t even feel the need for it!

One day, suddenly feeling the urge, I decided to Google the best shave... and alas all my myths were shattered... Where I had thought my usual soap to be good enough for my face, I realised I needed a scrub before the shave “For Best Results”... And that was another Rs.199 down for the new Gillette Scrub... Suddenly exfoliation was as important as splashing water!! And of course, the shaving cream had to go... It was going to be Series Gel (and later Fusion Gel).

Then I discovered my favourite H&S had variants for different types of hair...!!! All this while, there were only two kinds I knew of – Washed and unwashed. So after some self-rationalising, I decided I had dry hair – and thus I needed a shampoo with higher quantity of conditioner – so the Smooth and Silky variant was added. Of course, for freshness, the Cool Menthol continued... And one day, my sister introduced me to the world of conditioners that were to be used after shampoo – and she convinced me to buy a Dove conditioner! Alas, soon I discovered that normal conditioners negated the anti-dandruff effects of the shampoo – I had to buy an H&S conditioner now! So now my closet has a Cool Menthol for those usual days, a Smooth & Silky for those days when I’ve been exposed to lot of dust and grime – and of course the latest addition – the S&S conditioner...

Metrosexual ManWhile all these years, I never had flaking skin (or did I not notice it). On further consultation (with my expert sister again), I was told I need a moisturiser for my face and limbs... So a moisturiser for the face and a different one for the limbs got added... And of course, my sister wouldn’t have anything to do with me telling that I didn’t need a sunscreen... One with SPF 15 it was, as apparently SPF 15-24 is recommended for daily use for my kind of field job!! Where, I was unaware of the term “SPF”, I was now using one...!!!

And suddenly one day, soap appears to be too “drying” on the skin – and hence a body wash suddenly finds its space on my shelf...

I’ve till now curbed my desire (or is it a need) to purchase the Olay for Men or the Garnier Men products – but I never know how long I’ll hold myself...

And now I wonder, has human skin (mine) changed so much in 6 years that where none of this was required or should I say in marketing parlance – needed – or more specific – “felt the need for” – suddenly the market is swelling with “beauty and grooming” products for men...!

Or the truth, Men just too gullible for the directed marketing activities of the multinationals and susceptible to the pressure of the kin (usually female) to “look and feel” better...

Damn, all this typing must have scarred my fingertips – I’m sure a new product is on the way...

2 comments:

Pallav said...

Haha.. But its an ugly truth..

Asif said...

Superb ending line! I have btw already graduated to Garnier men ;)