The bigger the internet gets, the more room there is for new ‘memes’ to pop up, both good and bad (but mostly bad). While it remains to be seen if the latest one could ever be seen as any kind of ‘good’ or even ‘popular’, it is an intriguing one (in its own strange way) nonetheless.
The idea of ‘extreme shampooing’ is one from beauty care brand VO5 (of American company Alberto-Culver), who in a marketing campaign for their ‘Extreme Style Shampoo’ line recruited 25-year-old blogger Jim Chapman for the task of washing his hair in ‘extreme places’ around the UK.
Over the course of six days he visited five different locations to provide unorthodox testing for the shampoo range, starting his journey at ‘a fire training college in Oxfordshire’, where a pair of firemen provided the ‘strength of 10 showers’ with a fire hose to wash off the shampoo. Further trips for Chapman included an excursion to the River Thames, where he completed the rinse process by hanging his head overboard on a moving speedboat, then using the Hardraw Force (England’s ‘highest unbroken waterfall’) in test 3.
Following this, he was then scheduled to be involved in a bungee jump from 49m into the River Tees, but backed down before doing so, with a bungee team member taking his place. Making sure he at least got 4 of the 5 challenges done, Chapman took the final test at the summit of the 1,344m mountain Ben Nevis (Scotland), washing off with 2m-deep snow.
Chapman summarised his experiences, stating: “I’ve done some crazy things in my life but Extreme Shampooing has to be one of the most exhilarating and outrageous ways to road test a new product. The most extreme challenge was the dip underneath Hardraw Waterfall – the sheer force of the fall was incredible, however, climbing to the peak of Ben Nevis was one shampooing experience I’ll certainly never forget!”
VO5 have expressed their intentions of making ‘extreme shampooing’ a thing, as ‘senior brand manager’ Richard Whitty explains: “We wanted to ensure that our new Extreme Style shampoos were tested to the most extreme lengths. By challenging Jim to shampoo on the top of Ben Nevis to the depths of the River Thames, I think we have succeeded in showing that whilst your style can start in the shower, there is no reason you can’t have great hair in any situation – even the most extreme! I am sure there are other guys out there who’d love to give Jim a run for his money and show us more extreme ways to wash their hair by embracing the phenomenon that is Extreme Shampooing.”
While corporate-created forced ‘trends’ rarely turn out to succeed as desired, at least ‘extreme shampooing’ is something no-one would have seriously considered before, although whether that is a positive feature is a topic of debate. Regardless, if you are interested in coming up with your own take on the stunts, examples from Jim Chapman’s journey in full can be seen below. A quick reminder, though, that this should not be tried at home, not that safety is the main reason this time…