One of my pet hates is the way that social media has been co-opted by brands for marketing purposes. Every goddamn ad has a hashtag these days. It’s not enough that they hawk their wares to us at every waking moment of our lives – now they want us to join in too.
Dettol – Mission for Health “Celebrating the little things you do for your family’s health” #missionforhealth
Kleenex – Share the Softness “Kleenex is inviting you to make a pledge of softness to someone you really care about, and share that pledge with Australia” #sharethesoftness
Colgate – Colgate Smile “Celebrate the special moments in life that bring out your bright, Colgate Smile!” #colgatesmile
These are just a few I remember because I can still feel the tingle of outrage that I am being asked to waste my precious time uploading photos or comments about tissues and toothpaste and disinfectant. Disinfectant!
But the one that really gets me trembling is the “Vanish Tip Exchange”. Now I’ll admit that I used to read the Woman’s Weekly Handy Hints page in my Nan’s magazines, because quite frankly some of them were ingenious. But every time I hear mention of the Vanish Tip Exchange, I feel like screaming.
“HOW MANY GODDAMN TIPS ARE THERE HOW TO USE THIS PRODUCT? YOU EITHER SPRINKLE SOME POWDER IN YOUR WASHING MACHINE OR YOU “MAKE A PASTE”. WHAT THE FUCK ELSE CAN YOU DO WITH THIS SHIT?”
Recently I got so worked up over it that I just had to visit the Vanish Tip Exchange to see for myself what possible variations people could come up with to use this product. I only got to the first page and I was stopped in my tracks by a post that cut straight to my heart.
Here is a woman who is obviously going through the most harrowing experience of her life, caring for her sick husband who can’t even control his bladder and bowels, and she is reaching out to the Vanish Tip Exchange for support. It absolutely killed me that no one had replied. This poor soul does not really want to know how to get poo and wee stains off a mattress. She wants other humans to support her and care about her experience. All I wanted to do was reach out and tell her that I was thinking of her. But you can’t even leave a comment unless you sign up to the mother fucking tip exchange. So I signed up as “Tipster Extraordinaire” with the username “Lurker” and I told Gwen that I had no tip, but I cared about her experience as a human (not a consumer) and I wished her luck and told her to look after herself. I didn’t tell her to make a paste or sprinkle any Vanish.
* Please excuse the swearing in this post. I really get worked up over the Vanish Tip Exchange.