Kernels of Disappointment

So, one of the latest breakthrough products in our ongoing age of wonders is apparently “antiperspirant” that doubles as make-up for armpits, brought to us by the loving hand of the Unilever conglomerate:

The mode of invention for such marvels of appropriate technology is, of course, all the bold and costly research corporations conduct, allegedly on our behalf.

The real object of that research? Invention of new problems:

“Everyone is looking to consumer research for ideas,” [the industry expert] said. “It’s desperation time. Even companies that never were heavy into research, like the upscale department-store brands, are using it, looking for kernels of disappointment [they] can latch onto.” [Ad Age, March 5, 2013]