Saturday, July 16, 2011


I do the majority of my shopping for food and the basic daily necessities of life at a local co-op. It works out well. I feel like I'm doing good, supporting a local business and, best of all, I know exactly what I buy and where it's located. The thinking involved is minimal and could probably be mapped out in a very simple flow chart (we auditors like flow charts) - do I need more broccoli? yes/no. Chicken or fish? If chicken.... Should I buy this bar of chocolate? etc

Unfortunately, life is not always so straightforward. Sometimes I venture into real stores - grocery or drug - and my poor head explodes. The other day I needed to get a tube of toothpaste for work. So I headed off to Bartells (yes, this is a locally owned business as well, but on a slightly larger scale and shopping there has a slightly lower level of smug self righteousness built in). One would think that buying toothpaste would be an easy adventure. Typically it's just Tom's. Most of us 'mid 40s liberal do the right thing' people buy Toms (even though they sold out years ago). But somehow when I buy work toothpaste it's like being on vacation, I don't have to do the right thing, I can buy something sexy.

But W-H-O-A. Somehow when I wasn't looking the array of toothpastes became dizzying. There are toothpastes for whitening, freshness, tarter control, with various types of mouth wash built in (scope or listerine), root cavity protection, regular cavity protection, enamel strength, extra whitening (better than whitening) and for those with sensitive teeth. Yes, whoa. In addition, there is every possible combination of the above. And in case that wasn't enough, there are some which make even bigger claims: power smile, pro health (yes, your tooth paste can improve your health), extreme clean, dry mouth (why drink water just brush your teeth) and (my very personal favorite) AGE DEFYING. (That's in capitals in case you had stopped reading, I didn't want you to miss age defying tooth paste). Let me add a little disclaimer here, I did not make any of these up, I was in such awe, that I stood there with my phone and typed the descriptions in.

The choices were over whelming. I actually gave up on the project. Instead I went elsewhere in the store and bought a mini trial size. Why trial size you ask? Because there were only 10 or so trial size options, instead of 50 or so regular size options. Why, you ask, didn't I just buy Toms? I have no answer for that.

I will tell you what I bought, Arm and Hammer Advanced White (I don't think there was a non advanced white, but whatever) with Baking Soda and Peroxide. Here's what it does:

3 Shades Whiter, Fluoride Anti-Cavity Toothpaste Tartar Control Gently Cleans Away Surface Stains Penetrates Tiny Crevices to Clean Away Deep Stains Safely Lightens Tooth Enamel For Whiter & Brighter Teeth. Contains Fluoride For Cavity Protection

Yep, penetrates tiny crevices better than any other toothpaste and makes them 3 SHADES WHITER (maybe non advanced is only 1 shade whiter)!

And, for you marketers out there, why I chose this out of the 50-60 options I had, different size and shaped bottles, different descriptions, different colors? Well, duh, the box was extra cute with gold and silver sparks. Nice job Arm and Hammer!


1 comment:

tracy said...

so funny....i cringe when i have to go into a "regular" safeway or fred meyer. i FREAK OUT at the millions of choices. do we really need all of these choices? have you seen the chip aisles lately? dear lord, it's a wonder anybody can ever make it out of a store.