Floss: Dental Care and Marketing Ploy


How most of my plastic wrap ends up!
How most of my plastic wrap ends up!

Over the years there have been some very crafty marketing ploys that have increased sales of various products dramatically if perhaps artificially. Take for instance the addition of the word ‘repeat’ after the instructions ‘wet hair, apply shampoo, lather and rinse’ which must have doubled shampoo use. But do we really need to shampoo twice?

Maybe the best example is the story of the Hathaway Company’s Madras shirt that ran in the wash, blurring the colors. As management went into panic mode when so many were returned to retailers, someone had the bright idea that the solution was to inform the buying public that these color shenanigans were supposed to happen. If fact the shirts were ‘guaranteed to bleed’!

Madras_Shirt

My contribution of sorts: I have probably bought twice as much plastic wrap as I have used simply because I usually find myself balling up and throwing out the first (in honesty sometimes the second as well) sheet of wrap after it sticks together and becomes an unusable wad.  There was a time in my life when I tried to unball the wrap, determined not to let it win. But with age comes wisdom and I now concede that it has me beaten. Perhaps a small part of me even admires this devious power, much like a prizefighter often respects his vanquisher.

‘I’ve got it, we’ll wax the stuff. No one will be able to hang on to it!’

But it recently dawned on me that perhaps the granddaddy of what I call product overuse is dental floss. No one can deny that daily flossing is an integral part of a proper oral hygiene regimen. To get into those difficult places between your teeth and get out any bacteria-causing food particles requires about three or four inches of dental floss. But to get a good grip on those  inches so you can maneuver the floss you need to use about three or four extra inches at each end. That’s about a foot of dental floss, only four inches of which is involved in actual floss to tooth action.

Note the extra floss used to grip
Note the extra floss used to grip

To make matters worse, or better if you are in the dental floss business, once folks started getting a grip, they adapted the product to ensure overuse. Image a boardroom full of antsy suits fearing a down tick in floss usage that may well derail their career. All of a sudden,  out of the blue, someone, maybe the same person who suggested repeating the shampoo process, jumps up and shouts ‘I’ve got it, we’ll wax the stuff. No one will be able to hang on to it!’.

Don’t ya just love marketing?

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

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3 thoughts on “Floss: Dental Care and Marketing Ploy

  1. The recommended length of dental floss is the length of ones arm. Why you ask? In a proper flossing technique one is supposed to use a new part of the floss for every in between space one plans to floss. And the wax I find grabs more stuff!! 😷😋 There are also things calls flossers for the older generation such as yourself, that don’t require spooling the floss around ones fingers or in your case slipping off ones fingers.

  2. I’m glad I’m not the only one with a plastic wrap issue. It doesn’t tear. Those metal cutter thingies do NOT work. I don’t really try anymore. Aluminum foil. That’s the ticket!

    I buy floss on little frames that hold it for me. Aha! Beat them at their game!

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