HeadOn alternative remedy – Wal Mart Candles

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.

ABC Report:

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.

Digg this?

6 thoughts on “HeadOn alternative remedy – Wal Mart Candles

  1. Marketing wins over substance anytime. Annoying commercials somehow grab you be the b….err throat and you’ll not soon forget. Would I buy Head On, now way I get a headache just thinking about it but you gotta give them props for out marketing and out playing the rest of the field.

  2. Ha – you are right about marketing > substance. I think what irks me about things like HeadOn is not that they do clever marketing, but that they prey on the gullibilities of suffering people. There is something very wrong about quack medicine, and HeadOn is clearly in that category.

  3. I don’t get how this product works for me. I was “forced” to try it by my wife. I applied it thinking I was just wasting my time based on logic described in your article. However, the damn thing worked. So can you get placebo effects on people who are sure it wouldn’t work? I guess so.

  4. Yeztesd – good question. Yes you can get placebo effects even if you are a skeptic, but more likely the rubbing soothed you in some way. I’m not saying nothing happens here – I’m just saying that the “remedy” is nothing but overpriced wax.

  5. I’m adding a quick comment to this as I’m hoping that someone may be able to point me in the right direction.

    After having a harder and harder time finding the headon for headaches, I am now reading that the product has been discontinued with many believing it to be a placebo.

    Having been a pharmacy student (changed majors later) and a father that’s a pharmacist, I am well aware of the placebo effect.

    But this product was the best thing I have ever tried in regards to and specifically the kind of headaches where your forehead feels like its burning up (while everyone else feels it and tells you that it feels normal). So the behind the eyes headaches and the back of the skull headaches and where ever else, the product did not do a thing.

    But its those headaches that make your forehead feel like its on fire that I experience the most. And this practically saved my life when I had a severe case of food poisoning where I was bed ridden and could not keep anything down for days – let alone any kind of pain reliever pill and my head was on FIRE. And rubbing this stuff on my forehead, temples, behind my ears and the back of my neck was a massive, massive game changer in regards to the relief. The same for less severe headaches that begin with the burning forehead symptom. So not so much of a placebo for me, but the lasting cooling – menthol (vicks?) feeling is what more than likely doing the trick.

    So with this product discontinued and now going for over $20 a tube – what product has similar properties in regards to that cooling feeling – the cool tingle that offers serious relief?

    This is really important to me so if you happen to know, PLEASE let me know as well.



  6. I’m with DB. I often get a headache in one spot over one eye or the other that stays there all day. Standard painkillers don’t do squat. HeadOn works a treat – it’s the only thing that ever has made any difference whatsoever. Sometimes it takes the pain all away, sometime it only dulls it, but even that’s way better than anything else I’ve tried. If it’s the menthol, fine, I’ll try something else with menthol, but if not, is there some other substitute for HeadOn that is available and not going for $41/tube? (no kidding, someone is now selling HeadOn for $41 a tube. There’s a rollover point at which it’s better to endure the pain than get gouged for a $5 product, especially since HeadOn’s shelf life is limited). Please if someone knows a good alternative, tell me!

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