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  American Midol

American Midol: Shocking Revelations From a Reluctantly Brand-Conscious Consumer

We all guard against bloated promises made by deep-pocketed brands that spend all their marketing bucks on advertising instead of on solid R&D that could actually improve their products. But the truth is, not all disposable goods are created equal! Three cases in point:

Scotch-Brite® sponges
These ARE far superior to their generic and lesser-porous scrubbing comrades. And 3M really cares about their absorbent kitchen Vikings – which come in four purpose-driven architectural designs. Not only are these top-o’-the-line beauties conveniently splayed in 3M’s “Clean Smart Usage Chart” for easy side-by-side comparison…they’re color-coded, too! PLUS…that wave-shape is not just a pretty fluke, but a bold functional tactic so your baked-on, caked-on scum fighter “fits comfortably in your hand.” Who knew, right?

Go to Q-tips’ website to see how they’re pimping their own virtues, and what do you find? A content brigade positioning these nimble, cotton-headed wax wands as “the ultimate beauty tool.” Huh? C’mon, Unilever – let’s keep it real! You and I both know that your product isn’t about eye shadow applications. It’s about bucking doctors’ recommendations and poking into aural canals with ecstatic fury! Everyone who’s ever stabbed their precious ear drums with the cheaper versions of these ‘tater eliminators knows that only ONE brand does the job without losing its puffy cushion. Thank you, oh nimble swab!

IBC® Root Beer
You’ve heard of the Pepsi Challenge. But have you heard about The Great Root Beer Drink-off of 2002? After listening to my husband’s incessant claims that Thomas Kemper rules the root beer roost, I put his taste buds to the test. NINE contenders – including Barq’s, A&W, IBC, boutique and store brands, and YES, even Kemper – lined up in identical glasses, number-coded by stickies. After plenty of swishing, gargling, sipping, and burping, one dark brew emerged from the pack. And that was IBC. Kemper took 3rd. (Interesting aside: The store brand was dead last. Utterly uninspired!)

Moral? As savvy and cynical consumers, it’s good to take a moment to separate the wheat from the chaff.

(Besides, the zeitgeist value of this kind of useless information is priceless!)

Enjoyed this American Midol column? Or diabolically incensed by its uselessness? Either way, you're invited to check out all of Lani Voivod's Midol spasms right here. Wanna sound off on this subject? Send your feedback to!

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