A running rant about bad television, crappy products, horrible service, mindless politics, corporate and government ineptitude, moronic media, marketing overload, public idiocy, stupid entertainment, etc. Here's what's annoying me today:

3.08.2006

Lost in the supermarket



Do you ever wonder why every drug store is a superstore now? It's because we have 20 different kinds of Colgate. Right next to 15 different kinds of Crest. Next to 50 other brands of toothpaste in a dozen flavors each.

And that's only the toothpaste aisle. Then there is the deodorant aisle. I like one kind of deodorant. The kind that's a gel, but not a liquid gel. Sort of a hard gel. But I can go to the CVS, stand there for ten minutes, looking at 500 kinds of deodorant, and still not find the one I'm looking for. See. I'm adding to the problem, because I have to have just the right kind of deodorant. I guess there are people out there who support each of the other 499 variations too.

And what about the cold medicine aisle. Must be 20 kinds of Robitussin alone. One for each possible symptom: cough, sneezing, congestion, sore throat. Then one with every combination of two symptoms. Then one with all the symptoms. Then each of those possible options in Cherry. Then the generic versions. CVSTussin in all the same options. So you stand there thinking. Well, I have sniffles and a cough, but I don't really have a sore throat. Where's the version for that? Oh, fuck it, just buy the one that covers everything, and get me out of this place!

It's nuts.

You know what causes this. Same thing that causes all the other ills of consumerism. Marketing! It's a thing called shelf-space. If there are more kinds of Colgate, then Colgate will take up more space in the aisle than Crest. And if you walk in and see more Colgate, then chances are you are going to walk out with Colgate. Why do you think I buy Robitussin? Because you walk into the cold aisle, and all you see is fuckin Robitussin.

So this is why the CVS is now as big as the supermarket was when I was a kid. And why the supermarket is the size of football stadium.

Fucking marketing.

[marketing] [products] [society] [suburbia]

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15 Comments:

Blogger Malaia said...

oh god. i love your blog. it's the first one i've found that's worth coming back to. keep hating on things, everyone needs some negativity.

11:50 PM

 
Blogger Sick of Extremes said...

I didn't realize how well you wrote until this entry. Ever think about putting this sort of thing in a magazine?

Fucking marketing. I knew they would screw up the world! Everything you said about the drug stores is so true and it carries over into just about everywhere else in the business world. Back when I worked for a TYCO company, they used to brag about being a 'market driven' company. Boy, does that seem haunting now, eh?!

9:32 AM

 
Blogger Cranky said...

Well I wrote this entry at midnight after a doobie. And after walking down every aisle in the new CVS looking for a box of Kleenex. You'd think it would be with the TP and paper towels. Nope. With the diapers and sanitary napkins. Nope. It was over with the fucking Robitussin.

I learned about the idea of displaying lots of stuff while working at Lechmere. They used to put rows and rows of empty boxes of appliances, so you'd walk in the department, see 100 boxes of identical coffee makers, and just have to buy one, cause there were so many.

9:42 AM

 
Blogger Mary said...

yeah, I was pretty pissed the other day when I had to go buy some make-up. The brand I always bought was discontinued so I tried to find something new. After looking for what seemed an eternity I picked something out. Got it home. Used it the next day only to find out if you read the TEENY TINY Print that it had medicine in it too! My face like got all red & irritated. and it freakin' SPARKELED. I was pisssed that I spent $10 on a red sprarkly face.

12:46 PM

 
Blogger Trustee of Truth said...

My only addition to your perfect rag is the phrase "do you have a CVS card?” I freak out when I hear that since I envision a key chain hanging with so many plastic logo fobs that one must hold it with two hands. Actually it would be pretty funny to pull a chain of fobs out of your pocket with 1000 corporate identity fobs and just hand it to the cashier and say “here you go, it in there someplace.” I have signed those damn marketing ploys to get a fob because supermarkets seemingly triple the price on the one item you need, then you leave them in your desk drawer! So I always go on the offence and demand they look me up. Almost always, they swipe a card that’s magically next to the register. I have an idea, a store without stupid gimmicks, marketing traps and corporate credit cards!

5:40 PM

 
Blogger Cranky said...

Whats a fob? Is that the actual name of those things? Yes, they suck. My CVS fob just fell off actually. Somebody may have found it and stolen my CVS identity.

Trustee, isn't it nice to know there's a place where Democrats and Republicans can agree. We've found common ground in the toothpaste aisle.

6:09 PM

 
Blogger Sick of Extremes said...

Fucking FOBS, man! I think we found another rant! How about those stupid Mobil FOBs?! You know, instead of swiping the credit card to get gas, you wave the FOB in front of the horsey, it lights up and you pump away! We've become so lazy that we can't even take a card out and swipe it! Just wave the FOB and all will be better!

7:15 PM

 
Blogger Cranky said...

Actually I love my Mobil/Exxon fob. That's a nice sturdy well made fob. Not like the cheesy plastic ones that fall off like my CVS and YMCA fobs. I'll sometimes pay a few cents extra just to go to Mobil instead of Sunoco, so I can use my fob. Also, the Mobil has hooks on its gas pumps, so I can get back in the car while I pump when its cold. Trustee wanted me to bring that up, so he could rant about that.

9:01 AM

 
Blogger Trustee of Truth said...

FYI Cranky, the word fob is believed to have originated from watch fobs, which existed as early as 1888. The fob refers to an ornament attached to a pocket-watch chain. Key chains, car starters, garage door openers, and keyless entry devices on hotel room doors are also called fobs. As far as the trip latches on gas pump handles that were eliminated in Massachusetts because our liberal state representatives had nothing better to do, please don't gt me started.

9:20 AM

 
Blogger Sick of Extremes said...

Man you are so right about the gas pump debacle here in Mass, TOT. So annoying to stand there while the pumps s-l-o-w-l-y pump these days. Hey, you used to be a carpenter! Why not carry a clamp with you and just clamp it on the handle and screw those commie bastids?!

10:25 AM

 
Blogger leif said...

Your blog's the shit - I just want to say thanks and never stop ranting.

A childhood buddy grew up to become a brand manager. Brand managers are like cult members... I felt like I had to stage an intervention. I wanted my friend back! He came to a house party and after having not seen each other for years, the first thing he does is pull a bottle of hot sauce out of his pocket that he's now the brand manager of and start trying to sell me on how great it is!

Brand managers are the scoundrels behind those fifty variations of Colgate at your CSV. First thing they do each morning is check their brand's market share. If they've dropped 0.001% they shit their pants and start coming up with new versions of the brand that might gain back that 0.001% share. Meanwhile their arch-nemesis brand manager over at Crest is doing the same fucking thing.

This battle of the titans will go on until somebody blows up the planet. The end.

10:43 AM

 
Blogger Jack Yan said...

I know that there is oversegmentation in the market-place and all, but you are right: I do not believe the market is so segmented that we need 20 kinds of Colgate. Here in New Zealand, there’s Raspberry Coke, Citra Coke, and all these different flavours as well. All for the same reasons.
   As a kid, I remember three Colgates. Regular, mint, and mint so strong it would burn your mouth off. I just want clean teeth. I used to be brand-loyal on toothpastes but with all these varieties, I no longer care—because of all the differences, I now view them as all the same.
   Reduce the varieties, and I might come back to one brand. Right now, with all these varieties, I can’t understand what these brands mean—and, therefore, I can’t find which brand has the most affinity with me.

1:17 AM

 
Blogger Cranky said...

Check out my favorite blogger's rant about Crest. Same story as Colgate. We must need 20 kinds of Crest and Colgate to clean the 20 kinds of Coke and Pepsi off our teeth.

1:55 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

haha! i work in a supermarket but i still agree! stupid marketing!

2:10 AM

 
Anonymous Wilton Winrow said...

Ouch! It's really confusing to buy products like toothpaste because there are so many to choose from. That's why some of people ask their dentist about the toothpaste and mouthwash that are suitable for them. Hey, by the way, were you able to ask for an assistance on what items you should look for?

4:18 AM

 

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