A story is told of the boy who cried wolf. He was a herds boy (or so I was told) and on a few occasions (like three of them), he raised an alarm that there was a wolf preying on his father’s herd of sheep. On these occasions, the villagers came out in droves to rescue him and the sheep- but alas, there was no wolf in sight. Vexed, they went back home lamenting, asking themselves loudly in harsh tones why the boy would do such a thing. So the story goes, that when the boy cried out wolf again, the villagers paid no attention and they continued doing their thing- roasting maize, peeling potatoes, sipping way from their beer horns and such other things that villagers are engaged in. It happened that on this particular occasion, a wolf had indeed been spotted by the crier, and no one was around to help the silly lad. Suffice to say, the story had a sad ending, and the incident was used to caution other villagers who tried to portray wolf crying tendencies.
Now that I have taught my fellow urbanites a valuable lesson from the village, I think I should get to my next point. You see, it is the urbanites who are targeted by advertisers I’d like to call the wolf. These wolves have discovered that if they preyed on your sense of fear, then you will always be hiding behind their products. These wolves push medicated soaps to us. Think about it- growing up, germs still existed. Now we are told, that when our kids go out to play, germs are preying on them immediately they step out of the house, so when they come back home, they need to be sanitized. If we listened to these wolves hard, we’d have cattle dips for bathrooms- what with the dire need to tackle 99%of germs 24/7 and cleanse our kids. Is it a coincidence that the wolf crier was a boy, and so are all the kids in such adverts?
Lifebuoy. They tell of 10 infection causing germs. They have chosen Yvonne Chaka Chaka to endorse the soap as an ordinary mum, who is also a renowned vocal artiste who happens to know about some 10 germs. Among these germs we are told, there are those that cause diarrhea, dysentery, eye infection etc. And they each have a day after the other to infect the kid. Anyway, it so happens then, that Lifebuoy can eliminate these 10 germs, and that you should be afraid,
Dettol. According to Dettol, your kid is the most daring in the estate, and he will risk drowning to save a friend from the wrath of his brother due to a football. So when he comes home after his shenanigans, he needs to jump into the cattle dip for his daily dip lest germs have their way with him.
Poor boy doesn’t even get a fruit to regain his energy first. With the other family, the boy has an imaginary sword to kill germ and when he gets home, the first thing his mom does is take a deep smell of him. With the germs smelling awful, the mum is left with no choice but to send him to the dip first! I saw another ad where two guys are in a matatu and when their elbows touched, germs were exchanged! Oh my, if this paranoia with germs doesn’t kill us, who will?
Safeguard. Now how do you go around an estate asking kids and grownups alike if their hands are clean? I don’t think this ad was short in Kenya because you’d be told to mind your own business with a slap or get your lights punched out. Anyway, for those that agree to have their hands checked for germs with a purple coloured light, they are merely congratulated. Again two boys are shown washing their hands one with Safeguard and the other with an ordinary soap (could it be Dettol or Lifebuoy?)
Here is the SquaredFactor opinion, it’s about time that we are desensitized on always having our kids (and the adults too) scrub themselves with these so called medicated soaps. Note, I’m not encouraging that we condone germs on the contrary. Cleanliness is next to Godliness. But I believe that we are getting too paranoid about germs, and in the process, we are doing our selves harm with harsh chemicals, especially our skin. Our skin requires some bacteria that keep it healthy. The use of these medicated soaps strips them off and we end up having dermatological issues. Regular soap works just as good as these medicated soaps, and as long as it lathers, then we should not worry about 10 infectious causing germs, or the 99% of them.
For more reasons why regular soap works just as well if not better than medicated soaps, see this post about using antibiotic soaps and how they do not make you any safer from dangerous germs.