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Dear Products: Your Motivational Message is Ill-Timed at Best

Halls Wrapper
Inspiring Tidbits From my Cough Drop Wrapper
Here’s how this particular rant got started: this winter, there seems to be a lot of plague going around. Sadly, one of them hit our household and we purchased a few different kinds of cough drops to help combat the symptoms. Imagine my surprise when, during an episode where I was coughing up a lung, I desperately unwrapped a cough drop–only to be met with a barrage of motivational messages. “Conquer Today”? Seriously? I don’t much feel like conquering the world when I can barely find the energy to get up and make myself a cup of tea, and I somehow doubt that I’ll be able to “inspire envy” in anyone languishing on the couch in my flannel pyjamas and watching reruns.

Sporty Teen Tampon Packaging
Just What Every Sporty Teen Needs!
[ad#longpost]This incident got me thinking about the other weird instance where I’ve encountered this in my life (sorry in advance, guys). There are similar messages on the packaging of a certain brand of feminine hygiene product I buy. Now, this is partially my fault for purchasing something that is obviously marketed for sporty teens, but I like the design of this particular product. But even if I were a sporty teen, when unwrapping this packaging in a bathroom, and likely not feeling at my absolute best, do I really need to be told to “Live out your dreams”?

Don’t get me wrong–I love finding a nice message on the inside of my chocolate wrapper, or a positive aphorism on the label of an herbal tea when I’m taking a break and seeking a bit of relaxation in my day. And everyone loves finding out what’s inside a fortune cookie at the end of their Chinese take-out meal. So why do I get so annoyed by these other little inspirational tidbits? Perhaps it’s just because they seem to suggest the opposite of how I’m feeling when I use these products. For a cough drop, how about, “Sorry you’re feeling crappy. Perhaps a nice cup of tea would help,” or perhaps “Coughing is no fun. Try to be patient–your immune system is working as hard as it can.” Or for the feminine hygiene product, “Take a deep breath” or “Have a piece of chocolate–you deserve it.” One of my co-workers suggested the very apt “Try not to kill anyone today.” A bit of sympathy and useful advice for these not-feeling-our-best products would go much further to make me actually read your packaging rather than random pep talk messages they’re spewing out now.

Sporty Girls
Wow--Those Messages are Super!

So what weird packaging messages have you guys found out there?

Images from My Scanned Cough Drop Wrapper, The Period Blog, & Playtex