Are you the type of consumer who just waltzes into a store, carefree as you please, and picks up a jug of laundry detergent after a cursory glance at superficial factors like "price" and "it is laundry detergent?" I pity you. More specifically, I pity your clothes. And most importantly, I pity anyone who decides to run an ultraviolet detector over your clothes to see just how disgusting you really are.

Wisk™ brand detergent is well aware then when it comes to laundry detergent, who gives a shit, really, just buy whatever's cheap or whatever, I mean, it's fucking soap, big deal, you put it in the machine, stains come off, there you have it, no biggie. Indeed, here is a direct quote that Wisk's marketing director gave to the New York Times: "There is so little differentiation in the category that you have to step above stains in order to break through."

How exactly does laundry detergent—a product expressly designed for removing stains—"step above stains," when stains are, in fact, its raison d'etre? By convincing you, the consumer, that you don't just have to be worried about visible stains, but by invisible stains, which, by definition, cannot be seen by the human eye. These mythical "stains," which appear only under the influence of advanced technology, are what you, the consumer, need to consider when purchasing a laundry detergent. Sure, you could buy any old detergent and get out the stains; but if you want to get out the invisible stains which may or may not exist, you better get some Wisk—. This is what their entire new ad campaign is about. No one else will know that you have removed these invisible stains, of course—but you will know. Or believe that you know. And that's what's really important.

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If they can pull this one off, they'll have achieved one of the world's greatest hustles. You, the consumer, really deserve whatever you, the consumer, get.

[NYT]