17 April 2010

"A Clean, Fresh Towel Every Time" ???

It's been a while since I've written a public rant, but this one has been driving me crazy since I first saw the ad.
The ad starts out with a split view of a small, white washcloth on one side, and a blue (plastic looking) box with white towels that pop out of the bottom on the other. When I first saw the blue box, I immediately was reminded of the plastic or stainless steel ones that you see in public restrooms. The commercial continues with various people wiping their hands on either the tiny washcloth or a "clean fresh towel." As time goes on, the tiny washcloth starts to yellow, and then a rather large, wet-mouthed dog grabs the tiny, now yellowish, washcloth. A small child replaces the washcloth in a wad, then an adult appears to blow his/her nose in it and replaces it on the bar. Several other people are drying their hands (fingers) on the rag, and nearly as many people are taking a disposable towel from the blue box. The female narrator announces, "Your hands are only as clean as the towel you use to dry them. So, why use the same towel over and over, instead of a clean fresh one every time?" Following the announcement, the full name of the product is advertised.

I have issues with this ad/product on SO many levels. For one, most people use a hand towel (more than twice the size of the "towel" they had on the rack in the commercial) to dry their hands. Also, most people I know don't let their towel get yellow and scummy, they WASH IT with the rest of their laundry. Oh, and unless I'm living in an alternate world, there's a bit of an economic crisis going on - people don't have as much money to spend on worthless stuff. To top it off, at least in my area, a lot of people are starting to "go green;" which certainly doesn't include disposable hand towels. Those creative folks trying to sell those polluting, wasteful, useless, disposable towels also figured out another way to show you how nasty it is to use an ACTUAL towel - when they split the screen, the side with the actual (albeit TINY) towel was off-white and put right next to the sterile, chemically-bleached, white wall with the shiny blue box.

To make matters worse, you can go to the company's website and teach your small children the "drying song."

My hands are gonna be clean
When I wash and I dry with mommy and sing
This song that's exactly two clean hands long
Warm water and soap and bubbles that shine
A Kleenex (R) Hand Towel that's mine all mine
And a song that's exactly two clean hands long
No yucky old towel's gonna ruin my day
I dry my hands the Kleenex (R) towel way
So if you're a fan of clean hands too
Roll up your sleeves and I'll sing with you.

I listen for a bit (you can go here and listen for yourself), and follow the (delayed) bouncy ball on the lyrics on the screen, and I'm fairly impressed... then line five comes in - Okay, it's advertising the product, whatever. What makes my blood boil is line seven - "No yucky old towel's gonna ruin my day," really, a HAND TOWEL has the ability to RUIN YOUR DAY? Let's get real folks. If it is that "yucky" anyway, how 'bout getting a clean one from the linen closet and tossing that "yucky" one in the hamper.

One final thought; if you're using your actual hand towel (as opposed to this new, disposable hand towel) to dry your hands exclusively, shouldn't it STAY clean, since you're ACTUALLY CLEANING your hands before you touch it? Now, that person in the commerical that put the towel up to his/her nose/face, that's not what hand towels are for - use a hanky or "facial tissue."

Check the ad out on youtube.

Am I just an overzealous eco-freak, or did this particular company miss the mark this time 'round?

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