Are product brands making us ninnys?

Midnight pomegranate.

Here's a question for Bath and Body Works:  What's a pomegranate doing at midnight that it's not doing at 4PM?

Has reality been obliterated by product brands?  (A fine question for two marketers, to be sure.)

The question first presented itself when we saw an ad for Lysol's new 'no touch' hand soap "system".  It's an in-home version of the automatic dispensers we see everywhere in public places these days.  Good god!  Even the handles of our very own personal soap pumps, the ones we use to cleanse ourselves of the plagues of the outside world, are rife with peril!

On the other side of unreality, there's the deluge of indulgent 'scents that marketing made' that would seem insane and utterly incomprehensible by any world citizen outside of western culture.  You know, those midnight pom's cousins -- "crisp linen", "energizing mango" and "white peach and neroli".  (We're not judging, we have them too.)

But have these scents gone to our head? Do they make use forget that not everyone lives in a world where our garbage virtually disappears when placed on the street once a week, where the average toilet uses more than 6L of essentially fresh water with every flush, and where major cities throw out food weighing the equivalent of 35,000 hulking African elephants every year?

So what's a product brand manager to do?

Don't sell. Engage.
Don't yell. Converse.
Don't lie.  Add value. 

And for chrissake, don't push fear (Lysol). Make a remarkable product with an authentic, impactful message. (Read: spreadable.)

Scott Stratten (@unmarketing) is coming to our community on November 23.  We think he'd have a little something to say about this too.