Friday, March 26, 2010

Vicks knows Noses

If you have a Mom and Dad, then you probably have some form of Vicks products stuffed in the nooks and crannies of your medicine cabinets as well as your nose. Since the 1890’s this opaque petroleum salve has been a pretty big hit and put the Vicks Chemical Company (now owned by Procter & Gamble) on the map. Vicks’ product line includes the popular ‘NyQuil’ nighttime liquid cold remedy and my personal favorite the ‘Vapor Inhaler’.

Oddly, despite my family’s liberal use of the ‘VapoRub’ to goo up, in, and around the nose when sick, it is not an approved use for the product due to the petroleum based fumes possibly contaminating your lungs. Maybe true, but with a $14 trillion dollar U.S. deficit, I think we all have far worse things to worry about. But I will say, I have recently started to question Santa’s perceived benevolence. Since as far back as I can remember, a Vicks Inhaler has found its way into my annual Christmas stocking?

In researching this post, I naturally found my way to the Vicks’ website. It is fairly standard with the plain vanilla impersonal corporate template. I was impressed though with the great interactive timeline which I have linked here. Even if you are not as much of a fan as I am, you’ll enjoy remembering the package designs and familiar ads of your youth. Also I’ve linked here the P&G solutions website so you can register to get free coupons and product samples if you are so inclined.

Digging deeper into Vicks’ site, I also perused all 86 frequently asked questions (Hey don’t mock me – I DO have a life). The company offers their expert help to solve FAQ #60 (Cough drops melted/stuck together?) and FAQ #21 (Can I buy an empty package?). These questions are most frequently asked – REALLY? Now I have a little better understanding as to why our populous seems blissfully unconcerned with America’s crushing national debt!

Another favorite is FAQ # 7 (Is there gluten in Vicks?) – why, are you buttering up your corn with the stuff and worried about the calories? And presumably the #1 frequently asked question on Vicks’ website, (Is VapoRub safe to use for toenail fungus?) – SERIOUSLY folks, as the kids would say - O.M.G.!!!??? NO by the way, but who are these people that are asking this stuff?

Ok, you get the idea, even if you love Vicks, it’s clear that some fans have been sniffing their inhalers too long. I don’t really blame them though. Vicks’ menthol-heaven scent has been a part of my life since before I knew what a ‘toenail fungus’ was. Because no matter if I was congested or achy, stiff or stuffy, young or now old, like an after dinner mint, my Dad will still thrust out a jar of Vicks and say ‘Want some?’ Who am I to argue - we all know ‘Father NOSE Best’!

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