Which Tastes Better, Olay Definity Color Recapture or A&W Float
So I was flipping through my wife's Fitness magazine yesterday. Before you run with that thought and start stereotyping me, I'm not a pervert checking out the girls in my wife's magazines, I'm just a multitasker. I don't sit and watch TV, I sit and watch TV while typing on my laptop and idly flipping through whatever magazines happen to be close at hand. Even now, as I set to the task of writing this, I'm doing so with three computers screens open in front of me and am chewing bubble gum. I'm a product of over a decade in the IT industry where you either learn to multitask or you fail. There was absolutely nothing sleazy intended as I flipped through that magazine.
Anyway, so before I even got to the hot, toned girls in
skimpy clothes… what? Would you stop interrupting, please? Before I got to
them, I noticed this ad for Olay Definity Color Recapture and I immediately
thought 3 things.
1) How in the world did they get the stuff to fill into the bottle in that cool swirly pattern?
2) That stuff looks like it would be yummy on a cake.
3) I wonder who voted it Best New Product of 2009.
For most of you, the only really relevant part as far as this article is concerned is #3 (unless you're like me, because it really does look yummy and I can't, for the life of me, figure out how they got it to fill into the bottle like that). You see, at the top of the ad, in big bold letters, are the words, "Voted Best New Product" and then in smaller words, "presented by Better Homes and Gardens."
That got me thinking that you really can't just blindly trust a corporate vote, but, again, in smaller words still was the message, "50,000 independent voters. One brilliant winner." Ok, so 50,000 people liked this product enough to vote for it as a winner. Against how many competing products? I'm not trying to steal Olay's thunder here. I'm sure Definity Color Recapture is good stuff (man, it really does look delicious), but my curious nature required me to find out more. So off to the web I went to learn a bit more about Better Homes and Gardens' Best New Product award.
Cyg gets distracted
I found there were a lot of really diverse product
categories; Shampoo, Confectionary, Pasta Sauce, Juice, just to name a few.
Olay's product victory was in the anti-aging category where Definity Color Recapture
beat out an undisclosed number of competitors to take the prize. That
immediately brought two more thoughts to mind. 1) That doesn't really mean anything
because what if they were the only entrant and 2) Oh My God, they have a
Carbonated Beverage category which was won by what can only be described as the
most perfect sounding product ever, A&W Float!
Did I mention that multitasking also means I have a really
erratic attention span?
So now that I'd been completely derailed from both my skepticism and my original goal, I promptly grabbed my keys and, a few minutes before midnight, dashed out of the house to find me some of this undoubtedly heavenly nectar. No luck at 7-11. I left empty handed. No luck at the grocery store either (I forgot they closed early on Sunday). Fortunately, CVS had my back and I found a lone bottle of A&W Float in their refrigerator. That had to be a good sign, I thought. They were almost sold out! The cashier gave me a bit of an odd look (frazzled, unshaven guy dashes into store at midnight for nothing but a bottle of soda) but he rang me up and wished me a pleasant night. Off I dashed, eagerly anticipating enjoying my prize and desperately resisting the urge to open the bottle right there in the parking lot.
Once safely home, I settled into my favorite chair
(surrounded by all sorts of distractions like a computer, TV, books, magazines
and the like) and slowly, reverently twisted the cap off the bottle.
Now before I continue, I think it's important to point out
that I love root beer. The only beverage I like more than root beer is A&W
brand root beer and the only thing I like more than that is A&W brand root
beer with vanilla ice cream in it. So you can guess that I was already
predisposed, heck, PRIMED to like this stuff. I mean, all the yummy goodness of
a root beer float without having to wait for the ice cream to melt… what could
be better?! Well, it turns out a lot. Frankly, I suspect a shot glass full of
that Olay Definity Color Recapture stuff might have been better.
Sure, the twist off metal bottle cap gave a satisfying hiss. And, yes, the stuff smelled wonderful. But it was dislike at first sip and only got worse from there. Being the idiot I am, I kept drinking the stuff until the bottle was empty because I really wanted to define what I didn't like about it. *sip* oh my god that's cloyingly sweet. *sip* ugh, how much sugar can you possibly force into one bottle?! *sip* I feel queasy. *sip* what the hell is that oily sensation on my tongue? *sip* God, please let me almost be done. *sip*…
Easy come, easy go (except for the oily after-taste)
It went on like that until I'd finally managed to choke down
the last of it. I then consumed two cans of Mountain Dew and a tall glass of
water and am now ready to give you my very scientific analysis which is this -
somewhere in the world there are 50,000 voters with absolutely no sense of
taste what-so-ever. There needs to be a newly recognized, federal handicap
status for these folks. To be politically correct, we can call them flavor challenged or the tongueless or
taste-bud-deprived. It's important we ensure that their handi-capable rights (in most everything but taste testing) as Americans are
Ok, that's not really fair. See, I discovered the importance of thinking before you react to a sales pitch. More importantly, I discovered the importance of thinking about what a person's opinion really means. Those people who voted for A&W Float probably really enjoy the stuff. Those people who didn't vote for it probably think, like me, that drinking this stuff is astonishingly similar to chugging a bottle of vaguely-root-beer-and-ice-cream-flavored syrup with mineral oil in it. I'd like to call a few people from the second group to see if they, like me, are still suffering from a tongue that feels like it's covered in oil. That's right, folks, 2 hours later and I'm still enjoying what I suspect is intended to be the "creamy" in this "creamy blend of rich A&W and ice cream" beverage.
So what have we learned? Are the folks who voted for Olay's anti-aging cream equally insane, er… I mean challenged? Well, not necessarily. See, the difference here is that the drink was voted for based purely on subjective opinion. Enough folks actually enjoyed the A&W Float (seriously, I can't for the life of me figure out why) for it to win but that doesn't mean everybody will like it. It's a matter of taste (or lack thereof).
Color Recapture, on the other hand, claims to deliver a result and that result
isn't subjective. It is, in fact, measurable even if you aren't applying a
scale or ruler or whatever device one might use to measure the results of an
anti-aging product. It claims to fight wrinkles. So you put it on and after
some time you notice your wrinkles are finer, your skin healthier and your
expectations met. Whether or not you like the taste of it is another matter and
wholly irrelevant; what is relevant is that it can be seen to deliver on its
claims. I guess you could say it's in your interest to pick some up if you're
interested in anti-aging products. If your car's engine is suffering wear and
tear due to inadequate motor oil, get a couple bottles of A&W Float while
you're at it.
So there you have it, gang. Don't be lured in by "votes" on subjective matters. Don't be a commercial whore like me. And, don't let yourself be distracted by every little sales pitch or commercial you happen to stumble across as I did tonight because you… Oh My GAWD! They make Sunkist Soda Orange Float too! I bet that's so good! I love Orange and Cream! Where'd I put my keys?!
Despite how good it looks, Olay Definity Color Recapture is not intended to be eaten. Neither is A&W Float intended to be used as a motor lubricant (though personally I'm skeptical).
Consume either product at your own risk.