Click to viewYou already know that people have trouble saying the word vagina, and that euphemistic tampon marketing is absurd. The first round of Kotex ads indicated that their agency actually knew that too. The latest round is even better.
The first ads were meta parodies of traditional period-related commercials — all atwirl in mysterious ecstasy — that struck the same chord as the Old Spice ads. These more recent ones, which rely on hidden camera, man-on-the-street encounters, aren't particularly original, but the hilarious reactions indicate that there is plenty of cultural taboo and awkwardness to plumb here. A girl stands outside a drugstore and asks random guys to buy tampons for her. In another clip (below), a guy shops for tampons for his girlfriend, eliciting the all-too-apt response, "It's a man's world." (This time in reference to cardboard applicators.)
There's also a clever caption contest on Kotex's site. Here's a good one:
As Adweek columnist Barbara Lippert writes with reference to the campaign,
It's interesting that in our hyper-sexualized, girls-gone-wild culture, where characters on sitcoms like Two and a Half Men joke about "nailing" women and commercials airing during the family hour regularly mention four-hour erections, there's still one backwater of weird prudery: the subject of menstruation and the vaginal healthcare that goes with it.
It is interesting! Anyway, who knew that you could talk about vaginas and be funny and not insulting? Yeah, we knew this. It's pretty refreshing to see the ad community learning it too.