Friday, September 25, 2009

From "9" To Vaseline

Look, I've worked in PR & I'm cool with press releases, I get it.

So I've been getting all these press releases in my inbox for the Tim Burton film "9." And, you know, they're nice press releases and all & they've created nifty apps to promote the film. I've just ever gotten around to promoting the film on my site. I don't get around to promoting a lot on my site. Sometimes I think it's because I spend large portions of my day job promoting other people's stuff and then when I get to my own blog content I'm just like "agh!"

So anyway, I got the "9" press releases but I've never promoted the film. The press release I got today from the same PR company thanks me anyway for helping support the film – which both makes me feel relieved, because I'm off the hook, and guilty, because actually I did not help promote this film one iota. I almost feel as if the email is being sarcastic, or doing a passive-aggressive routine to me. Maybe it's reverse psychology. I dunno.

As I continue to glance over the emailed release, I see that they are now promoting a film competition. I think this is also for the movie "9." Then I read it again, and I realize it's for Vaseline. It's promoting Vaseline, specifically "Vaseline MEN Fast Absorbing Body & Face lotion."

How do we make the segue from "9" to Vaseline? I mean, "9" I understand getting an email for, as this blog is tangentially about pop-culture, sci-fi, etc. But Vaseline?

And this brings up another issue: this new fad of hoity-toity toiletries for men. All that Axe stuff, for instance. And "men's bodywash" is all over the drugstores, really sweet-smelling affairs (Freudian slip?) in bright colors.

So what exactly is this "Vaseline MEN Fast Absorbing Body & Face lotion?" Why should men worry about having supple, smooth skin? Men are supposed to have rough, calloused, cracked hands with big thick hair growing out of their knuckles. I don't want men to have supple skin when I'm so far behind the curve in this moisturization thing I look like Madame Reptillia by the end of the winter. I don't need to use fancy products for my skin. I slough off my skin once a season, the way God intended.

So that's just my beef. Please ignore me.


  1. Anonymous10:31 AM

    Nice to see it's traveling the other way. Now, instead of selling what used to be a gender-neutral product as "made for women" (changing nothing but the packaging and taglines), companies are doing the same to men.

  2. Val,
    Sorry I'd like to comment on the whole mens' body wash topic but I'm a bit hung over from drinking one too many of those Mikes Hard Lemonades last night or as I like to call them:
    ManCoolers (Man+Wine Cooler)

  3. On the subject of male grooming habits... I use a moisturizer with sunscreen on my face all the time. I don't want dry skin or skin cancer and I don't want to smell like a chick. As far as I'm concerned its a win win win. However I draw the line at so called "body washes". The last thing I want is to smell right after I've taken a shower. I don't really think taking care of your skin makes you less manly. Now getting a pedicure..

  4. Anonymous4:24 AM

    It's simple economics, companies going for the Pink (or Metrosexual Pinkish) Dollar. I don't know any straight men who would admit to using items like that, which isn't meant as any sort of homophobic comment. It just reminds me of the Deep Space Nine episode where Quark is convincing the Grand Nagus to let their females wear clothes: "If they wear clothes, then we can introduce fashions, accessories, care products! It's a whole new market to exploit!"

  5. I prefer my skin supple and smooth, and if that offends you -- then good! :-P

  6. My communications professor informed us a decade ago that advertising felt it had basically socialized women about as far as their psyches would bend, so they were turning on men, beginning with abs and hair and moving into cosmetics etc.

    That's why MAXIM is essentially COSMO for men, and just as untrustworthy. That's why their first products were hair dye and bed linen, two exquisitely unmanly products.

    And that's why today's douchebag is a fake-tan, plucked-eyebrow, porcupine-gelled piece of solid plastic hate.