Women have long made fun of these ads, including this infamous happy period complaint letter by Wendi Aarons.
Kimberly-Clark has created a series of ads for their product U by Kotex poking fun at the absurdity of feminine product ads. What makes it even better is - they're poking fun at their own ads.
Here's their ad titled "Reality Check"
It's time to change how we talk about these issues
I spoke with Aida Flick, Director, Feminine Care Marketing at Kimberly-Clark. The campaign started with a research project surveying over 1600 women in North America. The research report states:
Unfortunately for women, society has created a cloud of shame and embarrassment around periods and vaginas, restricting honest dialogue and information sharing, which may compromise a women’s ability to take ownership of her personal care. Feminine care manufacturers have reinforced stereotypes by suggesting women avoid their vaginas and ignore their periods, that they be “happy,” “discreet,” and “free.”
Aida Flick confirmed her own company, Kimberly-Clark, had been a part of the problem. But Kimberly-Clark boldly set out to change that.
We took a hard look at ourselves and said, "We need to change. We need to change our advertising. We need to change our conversations." Women were yearning for someone to give them an opportunity, tools, a platform to be a part of that change, to take back control and ownership [of their bodies and how we talk about feminine care issues]. As we moved forward, we did everything with that mission in mind.
The result? A new advertising campaign, new packaging design, a website where women can get accurate information and join in an honest open conversation about their periods and their vaginal health. The purpose is to break the cycle of shame surrounding this subject and dispel the many myths and misperceptions.
Yes, it may be 2010, but the Kimberly-Clark survey found one in four young women, when they first had their period, had no idea what was happening to them. (That's just one of many heart-breaking statistics)
Interactive engaging website
UbyKotex.com is the closest example I've found to the perfect website designed for women. I'll be doing a separate post on the specific design elements and content that are contributing to the site's early success.
Marketing to women well done.
Bravo! Kimberly-Clark has given us a refreshing change with the new U by Kotex campaign. Drop the ridiculous euphemisms and have a frank discussion with real information women can actually use. What a concept. HIgh-fives to all the creative teams (which included a winning partnership of men and women) at JWT, Marina Maher Communications, Organic, Inc. and Mindshare World.
Read more about the campaign in the New York Times article - Rebelling Against the Commonly Evasive Feminine Care Ad