Airwick has the audacity to boast that their product is 4 in 1. Four of what, you may ask? Is is it 4 products? Does it have 4 functions? What does it do that the other air fresheners do not? The answer is that the 4 are: 1. Premium fragrance. 2. Eliminates odors. 3. Lasts up to 1 hour. 4. Acts in seconds. What’s the problem with that? The marketers know that a person will buy the product simply because they see 4-n-1. It is pretty well understood that people don’t question everything they should. The problem is that “premium fragrance” is not only expected, but a subjective description. The fact that it is a fragrance is understood. Eliminates odors. Ok. There’s one function–the primary function. That it lasts up to an hour is a quality rather than an activity such as eliminating odors. Finally, it acts in seconds… it’s spray. One would expect nothing less than immediate results. As I understand it, nearly every aerosol air-freshener works pretty much the same way– in seconds. When it’s all said and done, it is not 4 in one.
I remember seeing a sign advertising the $0.99 bag of Doritos as 2 for $1.98. I had to do a double-take. Last I checked, 99 plus 99 is 198. I’m not suggesting that I’m the only one that caught on to this, but that there are enough people that will not take notice that it is lucrative to post such signs. In the realm of marketing, truth and ethics take a backseat to misleading exaggeration.
My point is that on a daily basis consumers are being duped, manipulated and exploited simply because it works. I use the term, “consumer” to refer, not only to consumers of merchandise, but consumers of dogma. It is utterly fascinating how many truths or facts are skewed, overlooked or dismissed. Most of us are not paying attention.