Remember the day when our moms’ skincare regimens consisted of Pond’s Cold Cream? “Hope in a jar”, the ads gushed (and hope was an excellent choice of word to use when describing this cold cream that fights dry skin but little else). Hey, it was a heck lot better than dousing your face in precious milk during the Great Depression.
R&D scientists who regularly put out cosmetic-oriented studies must be scriptwriters for SNL. One of the latest tests: Some 300 women of all ages who used anti-aging creams and other beauty treatments were interviewed by researchers from the University of Bath and Qatar University (that’s a partnership even the U.N. wouldn’t have thought of.) Among women who didn’t see hoped-for results, 73 percent continued using the ineffective products or treatments. But among women who thought the treatments or products were successful, 55 percent had stopped using them.
Whoa! Who are these women? I want to know which lady continues using a product even if it doesn’t work (if this is the case: manufacturers of Pet Rock, take note. You can make a comeback).
University of Bath marketing professor Brett Martin hastens to explain: “Consumers differ in motivation depending on what type of future self they are pursuing.” Adds Dr. Rana Sobh of Qatar University’s College of Business: “A visualization of negative selves in the future (looking old; looking like my mom) would keep women more motivated to deal with their aging in the face of adversity more than a visualization of positive selves.” The bottom line? A projection of the future self dictates behavior.
In plain English, women who stick to non-performing products instead of cutting their losses have a negative future self-image and are motivated by fear of failure. So when products don’t perform, they regard themselves as guilty of somehow not getting with the program. The product worked for other people; what’s wrong with them?
It’s a little too much philosophy and psychology mixed with sadistic tendencies for us. If you like a product, buy two, we say. If it doesn’t work, stop analyzing it like a dateless scientist on a Saturday Night and toss it in the can.