Throughout most of my high school days, Aqua Net (the hairspray of champions) was my secret weapon to cool hair. Had a friend not pointed out the bottles of Aqua Net on the shelf to me when we were shopping last week, I never would have noticed that Auqa Net got a new can. I took a can of “Extra Super Hold Unscented” and opened the top…ahh, it still smelled the same.. That sort of crisp-dangerous-to-the-environment-gonna hang out with my friends-“Unscented” smell that is simply Aqua Net. I guess the company decided sometime between 1989 and now that they needed to revamp their image. I didn’t even know that people really used hairspray anymore. My wife would never think of using it on a shaitel. It would totally ruin the hair.
Is it the same formula? I don’t know. I have a feeling that it is. Most likely as newer products came on the market the company decided that they had to revamp their image for a new generation. It doesn’t really surprise me now that I think about it. Feldheim did the same thing with the English adaptation of Michtav M’Eliyahu, Strive for Truth. That series of six seforim has undergone 3 1/2 different book covers (I count the “cover” of vol 4 as only a 1/2, since it was the only one in the series with that cover) since it’s original publcation. Why? Probably the same reason as Auqa Net, they wanted to attract a different generation of readers.
I was constantly being told in school not to “judge a book by its cover”. I never fully agreed with this notion. Without getting into a debate about chitzonius (outwardness) and pnimyus (inwardness) I think it’s safe to write that the outer appearance is important, to a certain extent. If you’re looking to buy a book or sefer, the cover does have to catch you eye (even if it’s plain like THE CATCHER IN THE RYE). However, if a company changed the shape of a hairspray can, I’d gather that sales were probably down for a long time and this move was, like, their last chance. I think about think that we have in our home that have been pretty much the same for generations: siddurim, mezzuzos, Shabbos candles, a menorah, afikoman bags, the crazy construction paper rings that we put in the sukkah every year. These are not really revamped, repackaged, or madeover. Some might look more modern, but these items are pretty much the same. Sales are hardly down for the things that are timeless.