Twiddling my thumbs all the way in Australia waiting for Wii U this Friday, I thought I’d have a look at some other products that use U in their names- and see how how successful they were in terms of sales/changing the world.

. . .

U by Kotex

Many years ago in Australia before internet viral marketing, there was a horrible ad campaign consisting of short, 3 second or so TV ads that featured some crappy psychedelic graphics and a voiceover that said “I need you”, followed by a large U logo and then the ad was over. This went on for several weeks, playgrounds and office water coolers were abuzz with “Have you seen those ads?” and “What is U?” style conversations. Turns out “U” was a line of tampons and pads for women. That’s right. Tampons. I’m gonna say U by Kotex was a success as it’s still around today (we were reminded thanks to another controversial ad campaign involving a puppet beaver). I wasn’t sure whether it changed the world of tampons in any way, so I asked a couple of female friends who are old enough to remember pre U and post U tampon using. The answer was NO.

XPeria U

Xperia U has got be one of the ugliest smartphones ever to be manufactured. Kudos to Sony for trying to break the “rectangle of glass” look of nearly every smartphone since the iPhone, but really this thing is hideous. For $199 the feature set was okay, and although Telstra stores in Australia did not stock them- licensed  dealers were able to using Telstra’s network. I was told by a Telstra tech head that it indeed did not change the world in any way. I was also told by a JB Hi-Fi employee that is sells “alright”.

Baby U

No, this isn’t the title of a hideous Wii U shovelware game. Not yet anyway. Baby U is a line of baby care products- nappies (diapers to you Americans) and toilet training devices. I’d love to joke about Baby U a little more- but these guys are donating a percentage of their profits to sids and kids- a charity dedicated to finding a cure for and helping victims of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The one mother I asked had never heard of Baby U, but at least they’re doing their bit to change the world in their own way. Notice the U surrounded by blue in the logo.

U Little Beauty

An Australian natural skin care range, their title is a play on what Australians say when the horse they’re betting on wins the race. “You little beauty”. I won money. Anyway, U Little Beauty is not tested on animals, in fact according to their website- they love bunnies. They make them happy. Pass the bucket. I always thought cosmetics were tested on pigs, not bunnies. I learnt something here. Their products are stocked at David Jones (like an Australian Macy’s only they believe themselves to be high end) as well as Terry White Chemists and Priceline, so they must be doing alright. Changing the world? Can’t see them bragging about any philanthropic endeavours on their website- but they are using obscure Australian fruits and the like in their ingredients.

. . .

November 30 can’t come soon enough.