I’ve written about TV commercials many times on this blog.
And every post included one or both of these laments:
First: Why are these and so many other commercials so stupid?
Second: Is nothing private anymore?
Now my next offering about commercials, this time around for…
Not to be confused with:
THE LUME Indianapolis is a “multi-sensory experience that will feature nearly 150 state-of-the-art digital projectors showcasing famous master paintings.”
No, the Lumē under discussion here has a macron – a diacritical mark – over the e, which makes the pronunciation of Lumē sound a lot like “looney.”
Which is apropos, as my research soon revealed.
I’m at home on a Sunday evening, watching a program on CNN.
Program pause, commercial break, and I see this:
I wondered why, instead of filling the screen, the commercial had all that blank blue space on either side. It looked like a very amateurish video on an influencer-wannabe’s Instagram site.
Then I started paying attention to what the woman was saying, and the first thing that registered was her suggesting that…
“A pea-sized amount of Lumē applied between your butt cheeks…”
This was a first.
I’d never heard “butt cheeks” used in a commercial.
“The average crotch has an odor score of five to six out of 10.”
I’d never heard “crotch” used in a commercial.
And what determines the “average crotch”? How many crotches are needed to determine what’s “average”?
And what about “odor score”? How is that determined?
Is it something that involves judges, like the Olympics?
Now the image changed, making use of that blank blue space…
With graphics including “Stink Level.”
What is this stuff? I wondered.
The 30-second commercial’s last visual answered that – sort of:
I wanted to know more…
Or did I?
I’d already encountered “butt cheeks,” “crotch” and “stink level” in one commercial. Was spending more in this environment going to improve my life?
But…perhaps this was a too-good-to-miss opportunity for mockery?
My first destination was YouTube, to find the commercial I’d seen and confirm what I’d heard.
Found, watched, confirmed.
Then I watched a longer Lumē commercial – two minutes and 18 seconds – where an actress began by applying “a pea-sized amount of Lumē” (that sounded familiar) “to your privates,” with this piece of fruit standing in for your “privates”:
Other language included:
- Kiss your stinky butt good-bye.
- Butt incense.
- In bed doing some stinky-winky.
- Your junk smells so awful, you’re bad at playing hide-and-seek.
- Use it on pits, feet or any other stinky crevice.
- You’ll be able to geni-tell the difference (geni-tell as in genital).
Our bodies are God-awful smelly but Lumē – and only Lumē – will make us less smelly and therefore more socially acceptable.
And happy. Buying Lumē will also make you happy.
The commercial encouraged me to go to the Lumē website, which I did:
Where I was exhorted to…
Apply Anywhere You Have Odor
Think pits, underboobs, belly buttons, tummy folds, butt cracks, thigh creases, vulvas, balls, and feet!
Yet another commercial first: “vulvas.”
And wow – who knew “underboobs” was a word?
Who knew our bodies possessed all those odor opportunities?
This person knew:
Meet Dr. Shannon Klingman, Lumē spokesperson and an OB-GYN who, says her website,
“…worked for 10 years to create a solution that would work for ALL body odor, not just smelly pits.”
Apparently not satisfied with her tacky self-made videos, Shannon hired the Harmon Brothers ad agency:
I guess because she wanted to get a “crap-ton of eyeballs” looking at Lumē.
Who knew “crap-ton” was a word?
In this Harmon Brothers news release…
“…so when we created this revolutionary product, we knew we needed to find a way to talk about it publicly. Who better than Harmon Brothers, the agency whose success was sparked by making the smell of human odors easy to talk about.”
Who knew that “making the smell of human odors easy to talk about” is the new benchmark for successful advertising agencies?
The news release is dated January 2019 and says that Harmon Brothers launched their first Lumē ad just before Christmas.
“…features a made-from-scratch musical number…the leading lady manages to convince the viewers that they actually want body odor – just so they can experience the pleasure of using Lumē to dismiss it away.”
Who knew someone could convince us that we want body odor?
The ad was more than four minutes long, and because I care about you, I watched it so you wouldn’t have to.
Here’s the “leading lady”:
At 1:55 into the commercial I learned that bacteria eat the fluids on our skin and then the bacteria…
But no worries – at 3:20 in we’re assured that with Lumē, your HOO-HA:
Can smell OOH-LA-LA:
But only if we…
Click the link and get Lumē today:
I guess the Harmon Brothers – the folks known for “making the smell of human odors easy to talk about” – were doing something right.
According to the 2019 news release:
“For Lumē, sales are up 526% and the company is on track to grow from $1.5 million annually to $15 million annually based on current indicators.”
And in late 2021, Lumē was acquired:
No financial terms were disclosed, but one website – I can’t testify to its veracity – valued Lumē “in the range of $10M-$37.5M.”
What do I think of all this?
Well, Lumē proved to be something easy to mock, and that’s been fun.
But it also proved to be something ugly and exploitative.
And I think Lumē – and Shannon – stink.
NOT because I object to someone coming up with an idea, bringing the idea to fruition, and making lots of money from it.
I admire the entrepreneurial spirit.
What I think stinks is Klingman’s message that our bodies are disgusting, smelly, and hopelessly repulsive and will continue that way forevermore unless we buy her product.
It’s one more advertising campaign like so many – telling us that unless we purchase their brand of lipstick or shoes or cars or whatever…
We are doomed…
We’ll never be happy…
And we are stupid.
I think this Lumē reviewer …
Said it very well:
“This ad is a direct attack on women and our self-esteem…”
“Calling women’s vaginas ‘stinky crevices’ is not only revolting and insulting but it’s completely incorrect! Vaginas are self-cleaning, thanks. When are you going to put out ads about men’s stinky penises?
“The whole thing is absolutely all about creating an unnecessary need and then meeting it.”
Klingman and her Lumē ads are a perfect example of using blatant body shaming – for women and men – to make Klingman lots of money.
And while she’s body shaming and making millions, she’s mouthing meaningless sentiments like these, from an interview:
“If I can be an inspiration to young girls and women around the world and make the path a little clearer for them to dream and develop and problem solve, then I have done a good thing.”
“It feels great to know that in our small way, we are making a big difference in the lives of women.”
What a load of…
Let’s go back to what I talked about at the beginning of this post – the two laments I have with the commercials I’ve written about, and so many, many other commercials:
First: Why are so many commercials so stupid?
Because people like Shannon Klingman and her pals at Harmon Brothers advertising think their audience (you and me) is stupid, and they have to dumb-down their message to get us to buy their products.
Second: Is nothing private anymore?
Dr. Klingman, take your Lumē products and stick them in your…