The greatest brand myth ever: the bath
I’m done with baths. I like the idea of being a bath person. We even have one of those beautiful clawed tubs that cost a fortune, making the bathroom look achingly vintage and probably even raising the property value. But I can’t pretend anymore. I’m not a bath gal.
If anything, aspiring marketers should look to baths as the perfect case study for how to sell and idea. They’ve got a solid brand. I mean look at that picture. Is that woman not the most quintessential sass queen of bathdome this world has ever seen? Google “baths” – she’s in attractive company too.
Flower petals, candles, bubbles, aromas, salts. There is an inextricable link between soaking up in a nice hot bath to the purest form of relaxation. It’s transformative, it’s soothing, it’s lush.
It’s a lie.
I’m not saying I’ve never had a good bath, but if you consider the success ratio of showers to baths, you’ve got a much higher chance of satisfaction with the former.
Perhaps some context.
Firstly, there was the time I dropped my phone in the bath. To be fair, not the bath’s fault at all. But you could say the same about the weather and we’ll still kick up a stink when it rains.
More specifically though, I am on my third day away from work with a flu. Last night I decided a bath would be a good way to loosen up my chest. However, after running it for what felt like an age and hopping in I realised it wasn’t warm enough. I turned the hot tap on to balance it out – but nope. I’d somehow emptied the hot water supply (we are on gas so beats me) meaning I’d have to deal with the luke warm blues or get out.
I admitted defeat.
I’d also make the mistake of putting bath bubbles in before running the water, so had about a foot of bubbly residue as evidence of this failed attempt.
Tonight, I tried once more. I was determined not to fall for the cold water thing again, so only ran the hot tap about 3/4 of the way full make sure it was piping before adding the cold.
And what happened? I tested the temperature and scorched my hand. Attagirl.
Through searing pain, I persevered.
I was not about to let four burned fingers mark the end of a second attempt at a bath in as many days. However more lessons were to follow.
As it turns out, filling the bath 3/4 full does not leave enough room to add enough cold water to bring the temperature down to anything comfortable. At a push, I reckon the water I ended up climbing into could’ve half poached an egg.
After about 3 minutes I was used to it and started to feel it was a temperature I could stew in for a little bit.
After about 4 minutes though I was convinced I had somehow ended up naked in Mordor.
Then the internal monologue weighed in.
“You can’t give up now! This damn thing took 20 minutes to run. If we’re being exact it took two days to get here, and you want to get out now? What about the bubbles? What about the salts? Never mind that they’re actually uncomfortable and make you feel like you’re sitting on sand – you added salts! And now you want to literally pull the plug? What about the book you bought in to read? Sure your head is thumping from the heat and that could be a slight migraine coming on, but to give up now means you can’t talk about how you had such a relaxing bath this afternoon and how it was oh so divine. Come on! Dig deep! This is how you become a bath person.”
Turmoil, I tell you.
If there ever was a product where the branding is at such a disconnect with the actual experience, it’s a bath.
The next time I see a scene in a movie involving a steaming, relaxing bath I’ll be on the look out for the beads of sweat on the bather’s upper lip. I see you, hun.
To be fair, it’s probably more of a me issue than anything else. Baths have been around for centuries. Plus I’ve no doubt there are people out there that have the formula down pat. I suppose they are ‘the bath people’.
I just clearly don’t have what it takes to master the perfect brew. I may go back for another nudge some point down the line, but for now I’m taking a break and batting for the shower gang instead.
Turn it on and go – that, I can do.