Some time in the early 90s I saw a TV commercial for shampoo, plugging an additive called Nanosphere Complex. Apparently, this was something that was really good for your hair in some unexplained way. Since then, I have often exclaimed "But does it have Nanosphere Complex?!" when subjected to silly adverts with pseudoscientific terminology. And they never do have it. Because Nanosphere Complex didn't in fact represent a dramatic advance, or any advance at all, in the science of hair care. It was just a marketing thing (as Hannah observes).
Shampoo is really just liquid detergent with perfume and a bit of hair oil. And then there are the magic ingredients that are supposed to give the stuff an edge on the competition. In the 60s it was chlorophyll. The latest one I've come across is Phyto-Dorphine™ Skin Booster, an additive to L'Oréal's "Happyderm skin exhilarating cleansing mousse". Note the trade mark symbol. It tells us that this is not a scientific term, but something dreamed up by the marketing people. I guess in this case they want to allude to plants and endorphins while sounding scientific. How exhilarating.
Anyway, I'm certainly not buying any Happyderm until they put Nanosphere Complex in it. Don't they know anything?
[More blog entries about pseudoscience, shampoo, scepticism, skepticism, advertising; pseudovetenskap, schampo, skepticism, reklam.]