Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tampon advertising that pokes fun at tampon advertising (pun intended)

I nearly laughed out loud when I saw this latest (brilliant) “Break the Cycle” campaign targeting women 14 to 21 from U by Kotex, courtesy of JWT in NYC.

The ads poke fun at advertising, market research, out-of-date marketing concepts-- and prudishness. According to Tuesday’s New York Times article,
One spot which will make its debut next month, opens with a woman strolling confidently toward the camera. “I’m a believably attractive 18- to 24-year-old female,” she says. “You can relate to me because I’m racially ambiguous. Market research shows that girls like you love girls like me.”
The sense of an ad somehow deconstructing itself continues, as she says, “Now I’m going to tell you to buy something. Buy the same tampons I use. Because I’m wearing white pants, and I have good hair, and you wish you could be me.” Screen text near the end of the spot asks, “Why are tampon ads so obnoxious?”
A print ad, meanwhile, shows a woman driving a convertible with this text: “I tied a tampon to my key ring so my brother wouldn’t take my car. It worked.”

And so does the ad.

In another TV spot (see it on YouTube), a young woman in her 20s says “How do I feel about my period? I love it. Sometimes it makes me want to run on the beach!" while showing images of women running on the beach and dancing. The clips mocked in the spot are actually from Kotex commercials, believe it or not.

The result is a campaign that is fresh, different, authentic and terrific on so many levels. Online on visitors can sign a “Declaration of Real Talk,” vowing to defy societal pressures that discourage women from speaking out about their bodies and health. For every declaration, Kotex will donate $1 to Girls for a Change, a national nonprofit based in San Jose, Calif., that pairs urban middle school and high school girls with professional women to encourage social change.

According to MediaPost, a study conducted online in August 2009 by Harris Interactive on behalf of Kotex, among more than 1,600 North American women ages 14-35, 7 in 10 women believe it's time for society to change how it talks about vaginal health, yet less than half (45%) feel empowered to make a difference.

“We’re really out there and we’re trying to touch women and say we care about this conversation,” said Mr. Meurer, of Kotex. “We’re changing our brand equity to stand for truth and transparency and progressive vaginal care.”

Talk about breaking the cycle.

What is your brand doing to shake up preconceived notions when it comes to girls and health?

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