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15 August 2008 @ 00:16
An ambiguous brand name  

Is it soap? Or is it a phone sex line?

Dial for men

Answer: It is a body wash. I saw it in a grocery store recently. Further research indicates that it comes packaged with a rather histrionic brand of masculinity. The Web site for the product (which is Flash-based, and which I decline to link to) proclaims that it is maintenance for your mansuit™. (I am not entirely sure what a mansuit™ is, but I would have assumed that it was dry-clean only, unless perhaps it was disposable.)

They also have rules. Rule number fourteen is "Women should smell like fruit. Men should smell like men."

I do not want to know what this stuff smells like.

I do not want to know what it is made from, either.

(Anonym) on 15. August, 2008 05:56 (UTC)
That strikes me as a reference to the film, Donnie Darko. When Donnie asks his nemesis why he always wears that stupid rabbit suit, the masked man replies, "Why do you always wear that stupid man suit?".

Just a guess.
Q. Pheevr: Few cows can driveq_pheevr on 15. August, 2008 16:36 (UTC)
Re: "Mansuit"

That's an interesting interpretation. I think you may be crediting Dial with a greater subtlety than it possesses, though.

鉄観音: why so serious?isolt on 15. August, 2008 06:10 (UTC)
Oh man.

I don't wanna know.

That's grosser and more sexist than... many of the things I actually DID encounter in phone sex.
Q. Pheevrq_pheevr on 15. August, 2008 16:54 (UTC)

Their Web site sends some rather confusing messages. The basic idea seems to be that a man can use (their) body wash without thereby being turned into (a) a woman, (b) a homosexual, or even (c) a metrosexual. But they seem to be playing up the sexist premise of this message deliberately to the point of absurdity, presumably so that they can say (if anyone asks) that they're making fun of sexism rather than perpetrating it. This takes their portrayal of masculinity into something that looks very much like camp, which potentially undermines the original idea, except that what they're presenting is an exaggerated version of (putative) Ordinary Guyness, rather than the extraordinary forms of masculinity associated with truly camp toiletries.

The whole thing is trying so desperately to be post-everything that I really can't make any sense of it at all. I very much doubt that Dial can, either.

(Anonym) on 15. August, 2008 06:55 (UTC)
There aren't other Dial products in your stores? It's common enough here in the US. This is just one of the specialized offshoots of the bar soap that's been around for 50 years or so.

I remember the early ad campaigns that showed a person serried on a bus or in a car or somewhere smooshed in a crowd getting nervous or sweaty. The soap was antibacterial and the slogan was "Aren't you glad you used Dial?" I guess because it worked all day long. Around the dial?

So now I guess sexism trumps claims about the product as a marketing gimmick.
Q. Pheevrq_pheevr on 15. August, 2008 16:39 (UTC)
There aren't other Dial products in your stores?

Oh, there are. But "Dial For Men" casts a rather new light on the established brand.

Merlemerle_ on 15. August, 2008 13:33 (UTC)
Mmm.. the cloying scent of soylent blue.

It seems self-defeating to sell a personal hygiene product for men while announcing that men should smell like men. I can smell like myself just fine without body washes.
Prof. Bleen6_bleen_7 on 16. August, 2008 05:01 (UTC)
Dial has been a respected brand of soap for decades. I wonder what possessed the marketing droids to make this move?

The best referent for "MANSUIT™" I can think of, offhand, may be found in the chapter of Moby-Dick entitled "The Cassock."
Vizcacha: Charlie's angelschillyrodent on 16. August, 2008 12:55 (UTC)
The earliest gender separation in toiletries that I remember was in the late 60's, when Secret® antiperspirant was deemed strong enough for a man, but made for a woman. And, that reminds me of Irish Spring®, which is manly, yes, but I like it, too.

Now that you mention it, I think I've noticed this same type of silliness written on my own (manly) antiperspirant. Stuff like: if you don't own an iron, you're a [whatever brand] man. Kinda like the smelling like a man thing. If you're generally unkempt and right on the borderline of offensive, go ahead and purchase this product while feeling secure about your sexuality.
Henrytahnan on 17. August, 2008 09:42 (UTC)
In truth, I've noticed a general anti-metrosexual movement in advertising. It shows up in all kinds of products, e.g. the Snickers ad in which two men eating the same candy bar touch lips and immediately have to do Manly Things™; or the general Burger King pitch epitomized by the (tasteless, IMHO) "I Am Woman" pastiche. But mostly it's in men's grooming products, which have to walk that fine line between "real men don't use grooming products" and "we're selling grooming products". It's kind of irritating, if you ask me.