Sunday, January 5, 2014
Forcing a Smile
When my friend Chris told me about the Electro Smile, I was shocked.
Sorry. Couldn’t resist.
What’s not to love about this amazing Japanese invention? A contraption that sends electric shocks to a child’s cheeks triggering the muscles in their face to force a smile? And such a sincere smile!
The advertising copy is powerful: “Pout no more. Granny’s coming. Your kids will look happy with the push of a button!”
It gets better. Apparently you can adjust the settings for fast action: “30 Amp Super Shock to slap a smile and grin FAST”. And the smile last for days!
Talk about marketing genius. Once again, the Japanese identified an unmet need in the market place and developed a product to meet that need.
It goes without saying that this product would have been a flop when I was a kid.
Our parents had the opposite problem. If I had a dollar for every time I was told to “Wipe that smile off your face,” well, I’d be able to afford a house full of Electro Smiles today.
I decided to order myself an Electro Smile, thinking that it would be fun to have around the house.
However, when I attempted to purchase my new Electro Smile, I could not find the device for sale anywhere. I dug deeper and discovered the Electro Smile to be a big stinkin’ HOAX.
How utterly disappointing.
The real product is nothing more than a bite counter. Albeit, an ingenious bite counter.
The Kami Kami Sensor counts how many bites a child makes and beeps to notify parents of every 30 bites their child takes. Plus it plays a melody after every 1,000 bites. All to encourage kids to chew their food thoroughly.
I don’t know about you, but the Kami Kami Sensor sounds like torture to me. Can you just imagine being forced to listen to beeps and melodies during a meal? And what if you had more than 1 kid?
Still, nobody is addressing the elephant in the room: the need that remains unmet. Without an Electro Smile to force our children to smile, what options remain?
There's always the cattle prod.
Or the fail safe, tried but true method.