Trivial, Useless, Dangerous, and Smarmy: Downy Fabric Softener

downysmarmShe ought to be barfing in her sweater.

To see a textbook case of both commodity fetishism and the general sickness of corporate capitalism, keep an eye out for Procter & Gamble’s appalling “Feel More” marketing campaign on behalf of its Downy fabric softener brand.

The ads and promotions emerging from P & G’s campaign encourage people to interpret use of this trivial-at-best, ecologically inexcusable, and probably toxicologically dangerous product as an expression of and gateway to their deepest bonds and emotions.

Equally sick and preposterous is the campaign’s further suggestion that “fabric softener” is some kind of defense against the heightening ravages of the very investors-first system that foists this Earth- and health-endangering shit on us.

“With all the uncertainty around us today, it’s more important than ever for each of us to take solace and find pleasure in the simple things in life. Consumers have really resonated with our message,” said Marty Vanderstelt, brand manager for Downy North America.

You have to worry about the future of a culture in which the dominant behavioral influencers scientifically study ways to convince people that dumping chloroform, pentance, benzyl acetate, and dipalmitoylethyl hydroxyethylmonium methosulfate in your heated appliances and on your clothes is one of “the simple things in life.”