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28 September 2007

Even Placebo Sells With Creativity

snake oilThis is probably the most annoying thing ever, but it sells! HeadOn is a topical product intended for headache relief, produced by Miralus Healthcare, which claims it is a homeopathic (and therefore completely ineffective) remedy. Although intended uses are not listed in the commercial spot, the implicit purpose of the product is to reduce discomfort caused by headaches. HeadOn's notoriety came due to its advertisements on television which consisted of using only the tagline "HeadOn. Apply directly to the forehead", stated three times in rapid succession.

See the video clip:

According to AdAge, sales were up 234 percent between 2005 and 2006, and for this year the brand looks like it's on track to double sales. However, I wanted to give a heads up for those who are using this or thinking about using it. Chemical analysis has shown that the product consists almost entirely of wax. It's "homeopathic" in the literal definition of the term. The active ingredients are extremely diluted to the point that HeadOn products are placebo. Take a look at what's in them:

HeadOn Extra Strength Headache Pain Reliever

- Potassium dichromate 0.00000005%
- White Bryony 0.00000000000004%

HeadOn Extra Strength Sinus Headache Relief

- Potassium dichromate 0.00000005%
- White Bryony 0.00000000000004%
- Golden Seal Hydrastis 8 × 10−32%

HeadOn Migraine Pain Reliever

- Potassium dichromate 0.00000003%
- White Bryony 0.00000000000004%
- Blue Flag Iris Versicolor 0.0000000000001%

Any questions?

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