ABC’s reporting on how successful Head On has been: Six million tubes of wax at $6-8 per tube. Since the product obviously has no medical value, is this a marketing miracle? You bet it is! There’s a HeadOn sucker born every minute!
Let’s do the math:
Wax sells at about $2 per pound I’m sure HeadOn paid less but that number will do for now. That amounts to 12.5 cents per Ounce of wax.
HeadOn tubes have .2 oz of wax and a few tiny amounts of other effectively worthless ingredients. Thus their cost for the HeadOn itself is no greater than 2.5 cents per tube of HeadOn. Packaging and production costs? Let’s assume it’s 5 times the product cost, or 12.5 cents per tube.
Therefore a tube of HeadOn costs HeadOn approximately 15 cents.
HeadOn tubes sell for about $8, though there are discounts so let’s use $7 as the average sale proceeds per tube.
$7 proceeds from a $0.15 investment in the product and packaging! This is a markup of 46.67 times. A “four thousand six hundred sixty seven percent” markup. Microsoft Xbox 360 eat your heart out.
Their largest cost is likely the advertising campaign, but you can spend a lot for ads when your product is marked up over 46x your cost. I’ll try to find out more about what they spend on advertising later.
With no science to back it up the ad was changed to stop implying (something?), though it seemed to me HeadOn has always been careful not to claim much of anything.
Cooling sensation may distract people from the pain. A doctor at the headache center suggests.
HeadOn claims to act homeopathically, with the wax containing tiny amounts of some homeopathic extractions . Homeopathy is one of the silliest and most ridiculous approaches to medicine, based on the notion that water imbued with unmeasureable amounts of substances has it’s molecular structure changed into powerfully curative “extractions” (hey, is there one to stop me from gagging on pseudo-science?) Like any quack remedy you’ll get placebo effects which have “real” curative powers.
The debate over quack cures is clouded by this placebo effect. Unlike real medicines which generally have potential side effects and rarely work in all cases, placebos, which only need the gullible participation of the user, can offer real relief, especially from minor symptoms.
I’m confident that HeadOn does nothing medical, but that does not mean it’s worthless.
However, prudent shoppers will choose my alterative “even better than HeadOn” emedy – one of those short stubby 29 cent Wal Mart Candles used for religious offerings. This will save you over $7 AND give you a religious infusion (but only if if you BE-LEEEEEVE!).
Send the $7 you saved vs buying a “real” tube of HeadOn to the charity of your choice, and you’ll not only get the benefit of the placebo effect you’ll actually do some good.