The Aesthetics of Selling Body Soap

Body Soap Name Generator

Body Soap Name Generator is made of words from a collection of body soap products sold in Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

Today most body soap advertisement and design operate on the principle of hedonism rather than practicality. It is no longer a necessity but an indulgence. This hedonism is the most dominant trope, but not the only one, when selling body soap hyper commercially today. Consumers are e.g. being sold the idea of “the other” by bringing us to places using soap names such as Asian Inspiration or Eastern Spirit.

    Based on the English words from the front labels of over 200 body soap products collected in supermarkets in Sweden, Denmark and Norway 2016-now, Body Soap Name Generator explores how language, a combination of “glittering generalities” (emotionally appealing words) and value-laden particularity, is used to sell cleanliness on a massive scale.
    In simulating the constant repetition advertisement depends on, this generator creates more than 800,000,000 possible product names—more than a lifetime of body soap names.•

A Short History of Selling Soap
Research•Sound piece•2017

“A Short History of Selling Soap consists of material covering the history of selling soap and how it goes hand in hand with the exposure of middle class values, heterosexuality, whiteness and ideas of civilization. Spoken by a woman frequently hired as a professional voice-over for advertising, it creates critical questions of recognition. Who is able to feel relaxed and at ease by a soft voice uncovering the darkness of European history?”•         Text by Johanna Lewengard