Does Dettol (or their advertising agency) think Aussies are idiots?

Have you seen that new commercial on Australian TV for the Dettol product where you don’t have to “pump” the hand wash liquid, rather you just move your hand in front of the special dispenser and it detects your hand and dispenses an amount of hand wash?

The pretext is that it means you don’t have to touch the dispenser pump and thereby avoid catching any bacteria that might have been deposited on it by someone before you. Does Dettol (or their advertising/marketing agency) really think Australians are stupid enough to fall for this?

The act of touching the pump means you are dispensing an anti-bacterial solution onto your hands that kills any germs that you might have just picked up, so, unless you’re silly enough to touch the dispenser head again after washing your hands, you have already killed off 99% (if you are to believe their marketing) of any bacteria you would have picked up.  What about the fact that you touch the tap with dirty hands and then turn it off with clean ones?  There is far more chance of picking up bacterial infection from turning off the tap than there is by touching the top of a hand wash dispenser pump!  Proper hospital procedure is to turn the tap on, then dispense the hand wash, wash & rinse your hands, then dry them with a paper towel and then use a paper towel to turn off the tap.  Therefore, the “no-touch” dispenser is a useless piece of equipment with no worthwhile purpose.

I have to wonder about our modern day propensity for all things “anti-bacterial” or “anti-germs”.  I have to question whether we are fast approaching the point where our natural immune systems will be unable to cope with even the most simple of infections because we have been so “anal” about avoiding or killing off any possible bacterial exposure (I suggest you read “War Of The Worlds” to understand the potential impact of a germ-free environment).  When I was growing up we were exposed to all sorts of germs and bacteria (we had our own chicken pen and I used to go in there barefoot to collect the eggs!!  Heaven forbid if I had a cut on one of my feet when I was tromping around in the chicken shit & mud in the chook pen!) yet here I am today, hale & hearty.  My opinion is that we need exposure to a certain amount of germs and bacteria to give our immune system the strength to cope with potential invasions.  Indeed, as a youngster it was considered “tough” to gain wounds and the subsequent scars as evidence of our ability to fight off infections!  Man up Australia, grow some balls!

Clearly, this is just a marketing ploy to try to convince us to buy another product that we don’t need.

Nice try to Dettol, but I don’t like the inference that I’m too stupid to know better and that I will be won over by your slick advertising.  But I don’t think I’m that stupid…