Sunday, December 05, 2010

Achieving the Optical Inch

Philips Norelco BG2040/34 Philips Norelco Bodygroom Pro Grooming System, Black / SilverToday I noticed an advertisement for a Philips Bodygroom Pro Grooming System for men. This is a double ended, battery powered unit, with an electric razor at one end and hair clippers at the other. The razor unit has a trimmer on each side of the foil, similar to the Philips TT2021, which I found disappointing. The hair clippers appear similar to the Philips Qt4070/41 beard trimmer (without the vacuum function).

What was as interesting as the unit was the marketing approach, with instructions on how to "Achieve the optical inch" in four steps:
  1. Inspect your bonsai
  2. Choose your trimming comb
  3. Trim your trunk
  4. Display your bonsai proudly
It took me some time to work out that these were instructions on how a male can trim their pubic hair. As it says in the Urban Dictionary:
optical inch: The extra inch of length a shaved penis appears to have over an unshaved one.
I was curious how widespread this term was. It is not in the Wikipedia and there were only about 2,000 uses of the term found in a web search.

The term seems to be used by Philips not directly on their own website, but on their more coyly named: "Shave Everywhere". A video for this entitled "Bonsai" was created for Philips by advertising company Tribal DDB, 5 May 2010.

But Philips are not the only ones providing with "Body Grooming Shavers".

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