Promotional Copy at its Finest…Maybe Not

This afternoon, I was in a local drug store and saw this Banana Boat suntan lotion kiosk (see below). The promotional copy on the top of the kiosk reads, “Stays On In 7 Conditions,” and then goes on to list those conditions as being: Ocean, Wind, Pool, Sun, Sweat, Heat and Sand. To the CMO at Banana Boat, what’s the purpose of this copy?


First, I should only hope that a suntan lotion would stay on a person’s skin while he/she is in the sun. It kind of defeats the purpose of SUNtan lotion if it couldn’t. Second, I can’t recall the last time I saw suntan lotion, or any other type of lotion for that matter, fly off someone’s skin on a windy day, so I’m not too sure about Wind being a condition. Third, because the Ocean, Pool and Sweat are all water based, don’t those three conditions really only count as one? Fourth, if Heat is a condition, does the company distinguish between different degrees and types of heat? Does the suntan lotion stay on at a temperature above 75 degrees, but below 95 degrees? Is this referring to air temperature or body temperature? Please explain. And fifth, how is Sand a condition? Like being in the sun, I’d like to believe that a suntan lotion will stay on even if the wearer is lying, sitting, walking or playing on the beach (sand), the place where the vast majority of suntan lotion is used and needed most.

So really, what’s the point of this promotional copy? If Banana Boat wanted to talk about ease of application and or water resistance, etc., why not simply say it? Also, by now, many consumers are well aware of SPF ratings and know that a number over 40-45 means nothing, yet Banana Boat lists the SPF as being 100 on its packaging. What’s the need for the deceptive SPF copy?

When most consumers want and appreciate straight talk from a brand it seems like Banana Boat offers anything but. As marketers we can do better.




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