Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Worst Product Name I Have Ever Seen

Yesterday I was talking to my friend Emma about hair care products. Emma is my friend who works as a journalist, has written a novel which is not yet published but will be, and who is the classiest person I know. She is so classy that a few weeks ago she announced that she had purchased her stationary for the year, meaning that she puts some consideration into her correspondence and that she actually has correspondence. Compare this to just about everyone else I know who can barely manage to shoot out a decent email once in a while. I aspire to "purchase stationary for the year" myself one day. I always imagine that it will have actual ribbon bows on it somewhere, but then I end up feeling great about myself if I manage to pick up a late birthday card for someone at Target.

But I digress. Emma told me she had seen an infomercial over the weekend advertising a new line of shampoos which does not lather and that all the stars are supposedly using. We were skeptical about that part though because all informercials say that about their products and if there is a star touting the goods it's always a star who hasn't worked in years and is only on the infomercial to pay the rent since they got passed up for Dancing With the Stars and since Hollywood Squares went off the air.

The line is called Wen and has all sorts of shampoos and conditioners and the like and they're made from revolutionary new formulas and you have to use like 27 squirts per wash or something and when you wash your hair it won't foam up. This is not what interested me about this line of products. No. What got me was the name. Emma explained that they were spelling "new" backwards and that apparently had some meaning to the founders of the company although I can't imagine what that meaning would be. Also she speculated that they thought it was cool because it sounded like zen. But the word "wen" has an altogether different meaning to me.

Some years ago, and this is just one of those odd random things that sticks in my head for all time with no explanation, a friend of mine mentioned to me that her mother was having a terrible time with wens. When I asked her what that was she said that a wen was a cyst of sorts and that her mom's were making sores in her head.

So naturally I put two and two together here and realized that these people had named their fancy new brand of shampoos ironically after a head sore. I swear I even looked up the definition of wen and there it was - a cyst on the scalp or face. How's that for advertising, jeez.

See for yourself. Here is the website for the Wen shampoo, complete with cute puppy photos of the owners' dogs. Ok? Now here is the definition of the word wen. A line of hair products shares the name of a cyst with fatty secretions, and I don't even want to think about what that might look like. Did I mention that the shampoo and conditioner is really expensive? I saw one bottle that was $52.00. For conditioner named after an unpleasant scalp condition.

I think this may well be the most unfortunately named product I have ever seen. Note to the owners of this company - maybe you need a better research department. And what's next? I suggest a line of skin care products called Zoster.

23 comments:

Hilary said...

Remember the weight loss appetite suppressant called Ayds? This one is right up there. :)

thebestrevenge said...

We have a product in the hair care aisle here called, "gorilla snot." I'm not kidding. I even have a picture of it. It's styling gel and there's a gorilla on the front with long strings of yellow snot coming out of its nose. Sometimes he's wearing sunglasses and other times he's got a mohawk.

Mrs Parks said...

Eeew.
My daughters name is Gwendolyn.
I call her Wen.
I may need to rethink that.

Ordinary Housewife said...

Ayds used to be called Aids. And then Aids the modern-day plague was born and they went off the market fast. My mom and sisters used to eat them when they were on diets. It was a box of cubes that looked like caramel candies and they came in chocolate and caramel flavors, if I remember right. They were supposed to suppress your appetite and make you lose weight. The fact that Aids victims are really skinny at the end of their lives is one of life's little knives.

Wide Lawns said...

Ugghhh. Aids/Ayds. I never heard of that product but that's horrible!! Truly an awful name.

Jean/Phoenix said...

Aids was a dietary product that had been around since the 50's (when no one questioned whether or not a product actually worked :-) But the moment that Aids, and the hell that it is, hit our reality - they were pulled from the shelves never to be heard from again.

Wide Lawns said...

Maybe they changed the name to something else?

Nana said...

When Smuckers jams had an ad campaign that said, "With a name like Smuckers, it has to be good," Saturday Night Live did a parody of dreadful product names...the last one was "a name so disgusting we can't say it on TV, so you know it has to be JUST INCREDIBLY GREAT!"

Anonymous said...

One word. "Nads." Supposedly leg wax, but I'm too terrified to look that closely.

Plume said...

I went to see the site and the photos of dogs makes it look like if it was some shampoos for animals... A bit expensive for pet products!

Karen said...

I remember Aids before there was AIDS, and had the same reaction to Nads. But Gorilla Snot takes them uh, cake.

Elise said...

Ha! I was just about to mention Nads. It's a product that I just can't imagine endorsing out loud.

Oh yeah, my legs...it's all thanks to Nads. Those Nads work wonders. I love my Nads!

TK said...

I was just now sipping my fresh hot mango tea whilst leaning over hub's fairly new and semi-expensive laptop ($1800.00) that is for the next week or two taking the place of my long suffering pc which died Sat am, reading your post and suddenly thinking "I'll bet this keyboard has a membrane so if someone dribbles liquid on it, it would be okay" , and idly wondering how often that happens, though of course it would never happen to ME because I'm so careful around expensive electronics, and then thinking about the spill insurance you can buy with your new Dell (I'm waiting for mine) and to which I said "Eh, don't need THAT" when I read the word "Zoster" at the end of your post, right after I THANK GOD! swallowed.
Geez that was close!!!

I just took a book back to the library that states that human beings (this is actual science) can see 3-5 second into the future... I'm a believer!

Thanks for the laughs, and as to "wen" I've long noted that the universe has an outrageous sense of humor.

Just came across a dog shampoo, also latherless, called "Filthy Animal".

Chris (Dippy Chick) said...

When (or should I say "Wen") I saw the title of your post, I thought, "Oh please don't let it be Dippy Chick". Whew! Dodged that bullet!

I think one of the funniest product names is that hair removal stuff called "Nads". Just saying "You can put Nads on your chin", gets me laughing hysterically off and on all day. :-D

Wide Lawns said...

I feel the same way about Nads. It reminds me of Beavis and Butthead. They used to always talk about their nads.

painless said...

Back in the 70s, Chevrolet tried marketing their Chevy Nova in Central America. It was a flop, and evidently they never got the connection that No Va, in Spanish means "Doesn't Go"

sallyacious said...

Speaking of zosters, in a rehearsal the other day, one of the actors was explaining about the bubonic plague. (It's the big threat in the play we're working on.) She mentioned that apparently people with recurring fevers/illnesses like herpes, mono and the kinds of chicken pox that come back tend to be plague-resistant.

After hearing that, I thrust my fists into the air and shouted, "Yay! I'm plague re-!" Everyone turned to look at me. "Um." I said. "Mono?"

JoeinVegas said...

Um, you didn't go buy some just to try it out now, did you? (hope not)

Chris (dippy chick) said...

Oh, I love Beavis and Butthead! I just got my husband the DVD set. My sons have been watching it with us. They are 6 and 3. I know... horrible parent! lol

Anonymous said...

There was this graphic card called Nvidia. The guys there probably didn't know the word invidious, which means "calculated to create ill will or resentment or give offense; hateful" and other things of the likes. Would YOU buy it ???

Had a lot of fun reading this post ! Thanks !
Marie

TK said...

Marie! My newish Dell has TWO Nvidea graphics cards! I'm crushed!!

"Nads on your chin" LOLOLOLOL!

I could never stand Beavis and Butthead, but I love King of the Hill by the same guys, dunno..

I am old enough to remember the commercials on tv for Ayds.. wonder what was really in them.

Nikki said...

I have a powder that someone got me as a gag gift, called "Monkey Butt Powder". Apparently, it's akin to goldbond medicated powder

Anonymous said...

There is one called "Adolph's Meat Tenderizier."

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