When I was a kid, I used to be interested in TV commercials for products touting a “special” or “secret” ingredient. Even back then I knew these ingredients weren’t all that special—they were often just a trademarked name for a combination of two or more normal ingredients. And once product labeling requirements made ingredient lists mandatory, they weren’t secret either. But since I remember some of these decades later, there must have been something to them as a marketing strategy. And this definitely had something to do with the old, naive idea that if something sounded scientific, it was probably good for you.
See how many of the products on the left you can match to their secret ingredients on the right. (Names marked with an * are the un-fancified names of actual ingredients. They must’ve sounded so exotic by themselves that they didn’t need made-up trademarked names.)
1. Certs with… A. Ammonia D
2. Di-Gel with… B. Chlorinol
3. Windex with… C. Zantrate
4. Lavoris with… D. Tetrahydrozoline*
5. Comet with… E. Retsyn
6. Colgate with… F. Aluminum Chlorhydrate*
7. Crest with… G. Gardol
8. Clorets with… H. Simethicone*
9. Visine with… I. Fluoristan
10. Sure with… J. Actizol
ANSWERS: 1, E; 2, H; 3, A; 4, C; 5, B; 6, G; 7, I; 8, J; 9, D; 10, F
Voir dire over. Back in the jury room. Donated my $6 jury pay to Travis Co. Child Welfare.