Thursday, November 15, 2012

Marketing Conundrum in My Ear

Here is a marketing conundrum that has bothered me for a while: How do you market a product that most people buy for a reason you can't acknowledge?

I'm talking about Q-Tips. Come on, you buy them to stick in your ear, admit it. But Unilever has to pretend that you buy them to clean your computer keyboard, swab non-ear parts of your baby and polish your furniture (?)

Dr. Rob Moser says on WebMD that Q-Tips are weapons of ear destruction.

And in case you ever wondered what the braintrust at The Wall Street Journal does over lunch, listen in here:

But seriously, against all medical advice and Q-Tip marketing to the contrary, we buy Q-Tips to STICK IN OUR EAR.

I am trying to imagine what goes on at Q-Tip marketing meetings:

Marketing VP: Well, sales are up this month.

Marketing Peon: LOTS of dirty ears out there, huh!

Marketing Team: SSSSHHHHHH!!

Marketing Director: The results are clearly the results of our improved packaging. The image of the Q-Tip vaguely near the baby's nose is really moving product.

Marketing Peon: But I really think...

Marketing Director: Yep, once we incorporated that image of the Q-Tip pointed at an outdated- looking computer keyboard, sales really started moving.

Marketing Peon: You know...

Marketing Team: SSSSHHHHHH!!

Marketing Peon: Wow. Marketing Q-Tips is really hard. At least we don't call them Baby Gays anymore. Talk about awkward.

 Marketing Team: (Holding ears) LALALALALALALALA!!!!

Any other awkward marketing meetings going on out there? What other products do people buy for reasons that can't be acknowledged?


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