The underlying psychological principles of my toiletries

My shampoo is specially made for brunettes, with a henna extract that is supposed to make your hair brighter, with coppery highlights. It claims that 80% de vrouwen* who use it see a difference in their hair color within something like a week.

My under-eye concealer makes similar claims about the under-eye area being Visibly Firmer within X amount of time and that X number of users could see the difference.

What I wonder is, does it actually make any difference at all? Neither of the companies make any claims about the difference that their product makes - just about the perceived difference. No one wants to believe that their shampoo or makeup isn't living up to its claims - they want to believe that they do look brighter and younger and more awake.

I think I would be more convinced by something like "In tests, it was found that 80% of people saw a difference in the hair color of the product's users." Don't make it a subjective judgment - tell me that there really is a difference that has been verified by outsiders.

The point is, does anything about me look different to you in the past few weeks? I'm not sure I see it.

* The bottle gives me this information in French, German and Dutch and I like the word "vrouwen." VROUWEN! I do find it interesting, however, that this shampoo is so vehemently for women only. Do we have such shampoo-gender-boundaries in the US? I am not aware.

srah - Thursday, 31 March 2005 - 10:19 AM
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Comments (3)

gravatar J - March 31, 2005 - 10:38 AM -

VROUWEN is a terrific word. It should be the name of the shampoo, but with an exclamation point: "VROUWEN!" And in the commercials, people go around rolling the R very thickly off their tongue. So a girl walks by a couple of people, her hair doing the commercial slo-mo wavy thing, and then they turn to each other and say "Vrrrrrouwen!"

gravatar J - March 31, 2005 - 10:44 AM -

Your observation also reminds me of the old Denorex commercials, where they put one kind of shampoo on half the guy's head, and Denorex on the other half, and then he'd say he like Denorex better because it was tingling, so he knew it was working. They even say (subtly) during the commercial that the products are *exactly* the same, save for the extra tingling ingredient.

gravatar Not Your MOM - March 31, 2005 - 2:08 PM -

I think that most men don't care to change the color of their hair... thus the product and ads are aimed at women who like to change the color of their hair.

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