Sideswipe

A daily look at life's oddities by Ana Samways

Sideswipe: June 25: Biggest product flops

Photo / Supplied
Photo / Supplied

1. Bic disposable underwear. Bic built its brand on the convenience of disposable products: razors, lighters and pens mostly. But its foray into underwear didn't fire - females didn't like the idea of buying intimate attire from a company that produces pens.

2. Earring Magic Ken. Changing Ken's image from classy tuxedos and suits to mesh T-shirt, purple leather vest, and earring was a bad idea. Pretty soon Ken was dubbed "Gay Ken" and Mattel swiftly discontinued production and recalled the doll.

3. RJ Reynolds' Smokeless Cigarettes. In 1988, when the perils of second-hand smoke were discovered, brands such as Camel decided to launch smokeless cigarettes. Reporter Magazine said the product "produced a smell and a flavour that left users retching". That, and the rumour it could be used to smoke crack cocaine, pretty much guaranteed failure.

4. Corfam Fake Leather. In the 1960s, DuPont began to promote Corfam, a synthetic leather substitute for women's shoes. But Corfam did not have the flexibility of leather and the shoes were hugely uncomfortable.

(Source: Daily Finance.com's Top 25 Biggest Product Flops of All Time)

Mayo on everything

Strange People: Philippa Garfield, from London, loves mayonnaise so much friends say she is addicted to it. Although she loves eating mayo and pours it over anything she eats - even in coffee - Philippa also uses the condiment as a cheap moisturiser, conditioner for her hair and as a shaving cream.

Accidents merely stupidity

Ken Pretty writes: "Such shenanigans as the 'builder' on the step ladder shows that there is no such thing as an accident - it's merely somebody doing something stupid or being inattentive to the moment in whatever they are doing. Then no doubt after a fall they actually describe it as 'falling off a ladder', rather than tell the truth. Indeed, is it surprising that such occurrences have given rise to the hard-core questioning by ACC?"

Sponsor my Big Sleep Out

On Thursday I am sleeping outside on a piece of cardboard for a night in the Auckland CBD as part of the Lifewise Big Sleep Out. I won't be taking my iPod and there are some small sacrifices to be made - it'll be cold, uncomfortable and it'll be the first night I have spent apart from my baby. I'm not doing it to showboat, be morally superior or flirt with Eric Young. I am doing it to get some genuine insight into the lives of Auckland's homeless and If you want to sponsor me and my 25-year-old sleeping bag, you can do so here. http://bigsleepout.org.nz/author/ana-samways

- NZ Herald

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