The Other Second Life: Off-Label Uses of Brand Products

A page on Bounce from Joey Green's book Polish Your Furniture with Panty Hose

"A sufficiently thick stack of Bounce will actually stop a bullet!" (source)

Adweek has an excellent article today by Andrew Adam Newman about marketers slowly acknowledging and at times embracing secondary and often unintended uses of their products:

"For several years, a list that details quirky uses for Bounce dryer sheets [AdLab - probably this one] -- including tying them to belt loops as a bug repellent -- has been the subject of viral e-mails and blog posts. Procter & Gamble, which makes the dryer sheets, was well aware of the phenomenon, but did not acknowledge it.

But the more online chatter the company observed about alternative uses, the more the resistance dissipated [...]. Brand managers decided it was time to "lean forward and take a risk on our part" and to try "to capture the consumers' passion for the product and use it as leverage."

It was time, in other words, to promote the off-label uses of Bounce."

"Canada Dry Club Soda, for example -- which, along with other club sodas, is lauded by consumers as a spot remover for clothes and carpets -- says it's just good business."

P&G collects ideas for off-label uses of Bounce on

Two books:
- Joey Green's Fix-It Magic: More than 1,971 Quick-and-Easy Household Solutions Using Brand-Name Products

- Polish Your Furniture with Panty Hose: And Hundreds of Offbeat Uses for Brand-Name Products

Previously on AdLab:
Ethnographic Research on Packaging Usage

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