I can’t think of a sadder product name.
It’s so underwhelming. They didn’t even bother to capitalize “non-ultra.” On the label, it says, “non-ultra Joy.”
That’s like calling a product not-quite Happy or not-terribly Enthusiastic.
It sounds like an example of Newspeak from George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. It sounds doubleplussad.
Sometimes on “Mad Men,” a show about advertising executives on New York’s Madison Avenue in the 1960s, the characters describe the essence of a product, what it means, how it makes you feel. It isn’t a suitcase so much as a promise, for example, a promise of travel, perhaps, or a promise of romance, of hope. I picture the whiz kids at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce looking at this product and going, “Meh.”
Wikipedia says Joy has been around since the 1940s and comes in two strengths: “ultra,” which is concentrated, and “non-ultra,” which isn’t. Wikipedia doesn’t explain why P&G didn’t go with a name that’s more enthusiastic than “non-ultra,” like “non-concentrated,” or “regular” or maybe “ordinary.”
Don’t misunderstand. I have nothing against non-ultra Joy as a product. It’s perfectly good dishwashing liquid. It does a great job of cleaning our coffee mugs. It’s good stuff, this non-ultra Joy, but the name makes me think I’ll find something better if I just keep looking.