Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Two products, one problem

Two products have caught my attention lately. One of them may just be downright disreputable about what it claims. The other is completely honest about what it is.
So guess which one is a poor reflection of our society?
 Power Balance recently admitted that, well, its bracelets really don't improve balance, strength or flexibility, at least not as much as it claimed, or, actually, there's really no scientific evidence at all that it does anything.
In a stroke of marketing genius, the company not only admitted that but has since used it in its commercials, saying that its Admits that its products have been worn during the World Series, blah blah blah.
So it sort of lied about its product, just like many companies do about their products. That's what some call "creative marketing" and what the rest of us call "lies." Dannon yogurt was recently fined $21 million for its "exaggerated" health claims.
On the other hand, Forever Lazy is completely honest about what it is. I really have no way to describe it other than to call it a Onesie for adults.
Yep. It even has a flap in the back so you don't have to decide between going through the incredibly difficult process of unzipping your fleece cocoon or shitting yourself.
If you've ever read "The Lorax," and if not, why not, a Forever Lazy looks exactly like a Thneed.
Forever Lazy does not claim to give you energy, make you a better person, give you bigger tits or ripped abs, make you thinner or even make you look sharp, sexy or sensual. No. In fact, it seems to encourage the OPPOSITE of any of these traits. It says one of the things you can do in it is "raid the refrigerator," and the commercial shows a guy with enough food in his arms to feed Idaho. It shows many people napping in their chairs, many others watching TV and all of them looking slovenly.
It makes me wonder if it comes with nacho cheese stains already built in.
Now I suppose in a way this is an admirable trait. Too many times we're faced with misleading marketing ploys that continually fill our heads with false promises that buying their products will make us thinner, better looking and general animalistic tigers to the opposite sex (or to the same sex if that's the way you swing, who am I to judge). All this really does is, one, make people rich because there many, many sad people in the world, and two, make those people sadder, because the ads remind us that we're not in the small percentile of people who belong on magazine covers.
But Forever Lazy just tells us that buying our product gives us permission to be lazy have the body shape of a rotting pumpkin and never, ever try to do anything to improve it.
So what's the better product here? In fact, what product do I own?
Well, if you read this blog, you've probably already guessed. I have a Power Balance bracelet. I will never, ever buy a Forever Lazy. In fact, if I ever see someone with one on, I will make fun of them.
My reaction to the Power Balance story was, honestly, who cares? Here's why. Being active is difficult. Yes, it hurts. Running hurts. But much more than that, it's a tough mental exercise to get out and stay fit. It means, for me at least, getting up early six days a week (even on weekends), dressing for at least 15 minutes, going out in fingertip-numbing cold and trying not to slip on the ice while I run. I do this so I can run races where I feel like my lungs have caught fire and a hippo is sitting on my chest and my legs scream at me to stop.
I can honestly see why people don't do it.
But when I feel like I want to quit, I look at my Power Balance. A friend, an incredible runner who just may make the Olympics one day, gave it to me, and when I look at it, I think of her and all the work she's doing, and that makes me think of my other friends who are out there, fighting the same battle I fight every day, and that puts me in my place. If they can do it, well, so can I.
I don't really care if the Power Balance is actually helping me with my balance or making me a better runner. I just THINK it is, and that's far more important to me than actual results.
When I look at a Forever Lazy, I just see our country getting fatter. I see us not caring about ourselves. I see us eventually looking like a bunch of elephant seals, lounging around in our heavy fatsuits, trying to remember what it was like to run or even walk.
And the danger is I think a Forever Lazy sends the same message that the Power Balance bracelet sends. "If they can do it, so can I."
What would you rather be inspired by?


Drizztdj said...

Power balance bracelets are the 2011 version of a pet rock.

pokerpeaker said...

What would be the 70s version for the Forever Lazy (since pet rocks were hot back then). Quaaludes? That's the question!

The Wife said...

I have never seen Forever Lazy and am now scared to go search it out . . .