Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"We Don't Make a Lot of the Products You Buy..."

This is absurd to admit, but this is probably one of my favorite (and definitely the most memorable) ad campaigns from my childhood*:

*do other people have favorite childhood ad campaigns? Is that the weirdest part of that statement?

That slogan is starting to ring a little too true for me - at least the first part. I'm a very loyal person and that includes brand loyalty. I was raised on Diet Coke, and Diet Coke is what I shall drink until my dying day. Don't even bother suggesting I buy Jiffy peanut butter if the Skip
py is out of stock. That's just grotesque. In the past few years, the products that I love and rely upon have started to fade from the shelves. I think I'm cursed.

1. Citre Shine Hair Gel Once upon a time, there was a little Princess R-in the-P who didn't pay attention to fashion. Or style. Or humidity's effect on thick, curly hair.

Then one day she was cleaning the gym locker
room after the 7th grade play was over (once a volunteer, always a volunteer) and got in a fight that involved flinging some leftover hair gel at her attackers. Someone suggested that, lo!, hair gel would be a good addition to the Princess' morning regiment and from then on, her locks did not remind any older brothers of the wind tunnel effect. And it was good.

Over the years, this product began to disappear. When she moved away for college, the new city did not posess a trace of the potion and the Princess' mother had to ship it up in care packages
. She tried other products but they were too goopy or left white bits in her hair or just plain could not conquer her beast of a braid. Now, the product does not even exist for sale in her homeland and the quest for a replacement has been arduous and full of disappointment.

Okay, back to the 1st person narrative, that's exhausting.

2. Conair/Scunci Comfort Curved Bobby Pin
s Now that I am aware that hair can (and usually should, NJ stereotypes be damned) be smoothed down, it is a requirement. Bumps are not allowed. Sleek is in. I found these curved bobby pins once - once! - and fell in love immediately. They're amazing. Most bobby pins are wiggly little buggers that stick up and make you look like you're trying to hide antennae. These are curved to the shape of your head with out the wriggles and I need them in my life. Apparently, so do a lot of other people because when I search for them online I always end up on message boards with women like me complaining that they're no where to be found. Hear us roar, Conair! We want our smooth hair pins back and we want them now!

3. Smucker's Easy Squeeze Strawberry Jelly I didn't eat anything fruit-related until
a few years ago. That means that I survived for years on straight-up peanut butter sandwiches. No wonder I drank so much milk as a kid (though a helluva lot of good that ended up doing...). When I finally got around to incorporating jelly into my life and my lunches, a glorious invention had been introduced to the market: an inverted, squeezable container guaranteeing that I would never have to stick my hand into the Smuckers jar to make a sandwich. My timing was impeccable. But now...the Easy Squeeze has started to go the way of the dinosaur! Or the Citre Shine Hair Gel! Every time I see it in the store I buy it, just in case it's the last time I see it. Do you know how many times that has happened? Once - because it is near impossible to find.

Here I am, a girl whose favorite ad campaign was for a company that, in it's own confession, didn't really seem to do anything. It's hard to see the things you love disappear, but it's even more difficult to be a female born in the 80s who does not find herself, at least every now and again, acting like a total Material Girl.