In the midst of our shopping, we've all seen those warning labels on product packaging that leave us absolutely rolling our eyes. Who could possibly need to be warned about that?
But since the warning exists, we have to assume that someone made that mistake at some point.
There's the added fun of unnecessary products that no one should believe would work.
But just like the directions, there seems to be a marketable need for every product and direction.
Redditor 98_percent_simian asked:
"What product is marketed pretty much exclusively to stupid people?"
"Over-the-counter 'man-boosting' products like Nugenix Total-T. Though the commercials are hilarious. 'She'll like it too!' Yeah, I bet she did, Big Frank."
"Foot detox pads. Detox anything, actually."
Trust Your Body
"It drives me crazy when people talk about how they are going to do a cleanse and detox their digestive system because they have built up sludge."
"It's insane because your digestive system works just fine. If it isn't working, you need to be in the hospital."
Paid Social Media Features
"Every social media’s paid badges. I just don’t get it. Why? Just why do we need to pay for a badge?"
"Megachurch donations that are advertised to bring you salvation or other holy benefits."
"My friend's mother had her house painted with 5g blocking paint inside and out. She then got s**tty about her mobile not getting a signal and her WiFi not working properly."
"What did she think the paint was blocking?! Honestly, I'm surprised it did anything."
"I've had people attempt to rope me in before. The trick is that they spent hours roping you into the idea of 'working for yourself,' 'being your own boss,' 'affording for your family,' and 'living wealthy.' Pain points that any common American would typically have."
"They make you go through meetings, 'interviews,' and continually feed you the mentality and never actually mention the name of the company or what the actual business is."
"Until finally, after forever, they drop the Amway, Herbalife, Mary Kay, or whatever name. By that point, they've already sold you on the 'dream' that you convince yourself to try and put in the work."
"I've looked up definitions and excerpts about what brainwashing is. It literally felt like the same thing."
"'HeadOn. Apply directly to the forehead. HeadOn. Apply directly to the forehead. HeadOn. Apply directly to the forehead.'"
"The ad never even says what HeadOn is supposed to actually do. It's supposed to relieve headaches, but they couldn't claim that because they have absolutely no proof of it maybe working."
"Essential Oils, not for the aromas, that’s all well and good but for its 'healing properties.' It’s sad when people become vehemently ill and rely on lavender to heal them or their children."
"Bunch of sad stories of children dying due to moronic parents believing in the powers of some plant over modern medicine."
"Fat loss everything."
Got Fight Milk?
"Fight Milk. I drink it every morning so I can fight like a cow."
"I'm thinking Scientology."
"When I go to Eastern Europe on vacation, there are mini-casinos on every corner. Sports betting, slot machines, etc. The middle-aged men in these clubs, frantically smoking cigarettes, hopelessly staring at the screens, with not an ounce of life in their eyes."
"Not sure if it's stupidity or desperation. But it's a sad sight to see."
"Online free IQ tests."
"Vacation Club 'points' (worse than a timeshare because it's nothing tangible)."
"My FIL offered to 'use points' to book us a vacation years back. He bought the points as a flex in front of his BIL and thought they were the greatest thing since sliced bread."
"Fast forward about two months after purchase and he makes his offer to cover a trip for us with some of the points. What he failed to mention/realize is that the points were for the ROOM ONLY."
"So as we started looking into the 'trip' being offered we realized not only would we have to pay for our flights but we would have to pay the all-inclusive fee at over 100 dollars each/per day. When we mentioned this he told us we would have to cover it because 'they cost too many points.'"
"So I did the math and hopped on Expedia to show him I could get the same trip for over 1000 dollars less when I just booked it online without the points. He REFUSED to believe this was possible until he tried to book his own trips with the points and ended up getting hosed. The look on his face when he tried to 'sell the points' (which the salesperson assured him would go for more than he paid for them if he decided to sell) was priceless."
"I bet you already guessed that the only 'customers' for the points are the company that sold them in the first place and they buy them back for pennies on the dollar." - YKYB
Some of these products and ideas have been around for a long time and continue to interest new consumers. But as some here have pointed out, the products are more about putting on a good appearance than actually delivering results.
People Explain Which Products Failed Simply Because People Weren't Smart Enough To Understand Them
I can't figure this out.
It is a proven fact that human beings are not the brightest species on the planet. Actually, we're further down the 'brain-train' than most people would want to believe. Which is why there are so many consumer inventions that were so promising but crashed and burned. They flopped because people couldn't take the time to figure it out, or maybe as a whole, we're a little dumb. I'm still trying to figure out that damn rubik's cube, though that was a hit. Maybe that one is just me.
Redditor u/froxictic wanted to discuss a few things that we could try and put a little more brain power into by asking... What product failed because people were too dumb to understand it?
Smokey Knows BestGIF by Smokey BearGiphy
The US National Park Service struggled for years to find a locking trash can that would be able to keep bears out. People couldn't figure them out so they wouldn't lock it back up, or litter, rendering them useless. One park ranger was quoted as saying there was considerable overlap between the dumbest people and the smartest bears.
Those chip bags that would decompose in the ground. Too noisy, they said. But I kind of feel all chip bags are noisy to some degree. That being said, we should've either poured the contents into a washable bowl or plate or something like that or just used the noise as a deterrent to prevent over-eating.
Find the Source
Nearly 50% of HDTV's in the early era were returned because people plugged in their RCA cables as the main video source.
They not only didn't understand what HD was, they thought the picture looked worse, as it was distorted on a 16:9 screen.
Do the Math!pulp fiction burger GIF by MIRAMAXGiphy
The 1/3lb burger because people thought it was smaller than the 1/4lb one.
There was a lottery ticket scratch off that had a temperature listed on it. You would scratch off to reveal your own temperature, and if it was colder than the listed one, you win. Pretty simple, right?
It failed because people don't understand negative numbers. People called in claiming that they "won" because -6 is "colder" than -8.
It is not. The ticket was ultimately discontinued.
Mix it In
They put out instant cake mix in the 50's. You only needed to add water, but no one would buy it. I think they couldn't believe you cold make a cake with just powder and water. They discontinued it.
There was a story when I was in school that the marketing guys figured out that if you take out the powdered egg and had the end user add eggs it would sell.
They figured that as women were going into the workforce and weren't able to cook a full meal, the felt guilty about buying a complete mix. Having the end user add real eggs gave them the feeling that they were really baking and not just pouring powder out of a box.
About 15 years ago Arm & Hammer came out with a series of environmentally safe cleaning products for bath, kitchen, and glass. They worked well, smelled good, and I really liked them. The drawback for dummies was the reusability of the spray bottle. Refills came in a cartridge the size of a five hour energy shot. You filled the bottle up to the fill line with water then screwed the cartridge into the bottle which had special inner threads to open the cartridge.
The spray bottle was sold empty with a cartridge attached. The checker at the store paused when ringing me up to ask if I really wanted to pay six bucks for an empty bottle. When I bought the glass cleaner I got the same question. Nobody bought it because they didn't realize how it was packaged.
This is not playtime...homer simpson couch gag GIFGiphy
Those little shopping carts at grocery stores for kids.
A bunch of dumb parents refused to parent their kids and they would just let them jam the carts into displays, peoples legs, other carts etc, so almost all grocery stores in our area got rid of them. They were made so kids could put their own choices into the cart and be mindful of what they choose, not babysitter bumper cars.
Can't Sip the "Cheap"
We had a guy come talk to us at my college about his experience in marketing. He mentioned that when he used to work for Campbell's (I think) they had trouble breaking into the Chinese market with their instant soup. They had just assumed that it would sell just as well there as anywhere else but apparently it was the same kind of issue as you mentioned where I guess culturally it was seen as "cheap" to just heat up some instant soup. So they rebranded and repackaged it as a dry mix that you had to actually add to boiling water and lo and behold it started selling.
The Laugh TrackNaked Gun Movie GIFGiphy
Police Squad!, made by the guys who did Airplane! and widely considered pound for pound one of the funniest TV shows that's ever aired.
But it failed because it required audiences to actually pay close attention to the quickfire gags and fast dialogue. Led to ABC's president memorably saying it was cancelled because "the viewer had to watch it in order to appreciate it."
Later it was adapted into the Naked Gun movies, which were smash successes, probably because people in theaters are locked down into the movie.
The Sound of Music
The Zune. Mayyybe a stretch but you could pay a monthly subscription ($10 if memory serves) for unlimited downloads. As long as you had the subscription, you could download anything you wanted to your device. On top of that you got 10 song credits a month you could use to buy songs to keep forever. As a music lover, I thought this was a better option than paying a buck a song from Apple for your iPod, plus I recall it being a cheaper device with more storage.
All you can eat music for $10 plus I get 10 songs a month to keep forever? Not bad. People still think I'm crazy when I bring it up. Granted, the stuff you didn't own would go away of you ever canceled the subscription, but still, it's not that different a concept from streaming platforms like Spotify.
The Wii U. People didn't know it was a new console and thought it was just a regular Wii, an add on to the Wii or who knows what else. A different name would have solved this entire problem. People still don't know how to distinguish Wii U games from regular Wii games, even though Wii U games will not play on a Wii console.
Marketing Geniuses take note, if you have a new product give it a different name than a slight variant on its predecessor.
Off the wall one but: Soap that doesn't sud.
A chemical needs to be added to soap in order for it to sud, and it was added so people would know that they were scrubbing enough. Now, people all expect soap to sud, so if someone puts out soap that doesn't have that chemical, people say the soap is broken.
In 1979, Clairol rolled out their touch-of-yogurt shampoo, which they hoped would help people with oily hair. Unfortunately for them, oily-haired consumers didn't like the idea of washing their hair with yogurt. The few who did buy the shampoo thought it was edible, only to be disappointed after getting sick as a result.
Steam Link (the box). People didn't seem to realize it wasn't just for games, but was a generic PC "remotifier" of screen, keyboard, mouse and possible controller.
Lights Up...Just For Laughs Reaction GIFGiphy
Those Lytro cameras, you could take a picture completely out of focus and fix it in like 3 seconds, I found it amazing yet the company still went bankrupt.
For some reason people were more interested in these stupid things.
So many Loads...
HE clothes washers. Worked at Lowe's in appliances and people just couldn't wrap their heads around the lack of an agitator.
What is it with people and washers? I volunteer at a cat shelter and people don't know how to use the simplest models and they always breaks it.
Now we have to restrict who can use it. Doing a load of laundry shouldn't be such a problem.
I wonder how some people function in life. And it's has nothing to do with gender and age. We had a 60 year old lady who squeezed a huge cat bed in it (instead of only unzipping the fabric cover to wash it). We had to buy a new one... again.
NJ vehicle registration expiration stickers. They were issued about 15 years ago. Idea was simple, place sticker in upper right corner of license plate. Next years sticker, place over the old one.
NJ drivers, stick the first one on correctly and subsequent stickers go anywhere on the license plate.
It was pathetic the patterns of stickers I would see. The state stopped sending them out because it clearly didn't catch on.
I don't think the consumers were dumb with the Dreamcast. Sega had a bit of a tarnished reputation at the time. Everything since the Genesis had been 'meh' in comparison to Nintendo (minus the Virtual Boy) and Sony. The Dreamcast was a much better system and much better marketed than anything Sega had done in a long while, and while it had some very good games, in retrospect Sega would have needed a god-tier lineup like we had never (and have yet to) seen before in order for the Dreamcast to survive past the release of the PS2.
Free... for all...Happy Let Go GIF by Jamie N CommonsGiphy
I'd have to say freedom. Too many people strip it down to "doing whatever the hell you want", and do all kinds of stupid and destructive things and give a bad name to the concept. Then people who know what freedom really is, but don't want people to be free, use it as a pretext for taking away our freedoms.
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