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So an ad agency in Australia has done a campaign for KOTEX tampons using a fucking beaver as an ‘icon’.
Oh yes, very funny – hahahahaha – except it isn’t, infact it’s terrible.
No, it’s not because I’m a prude, it’s because it’s the wrong thing to do.
One of the most fantastic projects I’d ever worked on was in this category [ironically for Kotex], and what came out was that television advertising was pretty much the worst thing a tampon brand could do.
You see it’s all well and good for companies and agencies to say they want to stop the subject matter being taboo, but when you’re a young girl of 12 having their first ever period, you don’t want to be in a room watching telly with your Dad and brother then seeing something like that come on because it’s a time where deep and complex issues are going on and their reaction [or perceived reaction] can fuck you up for a very, very long time.
Anyway before I go on, have a look at the ad …
Admittedly it’s obviously NOT targeted at young girls however their justification for this whole approach is …
“Young women were more comfortable in talking about the issues when euphemisms were made”
… and if you ask me, that is much more an early teen issue than the sort of women that use Sex And The City as a blueprint for how they should live their lives.
And to be honest, if that was the real justification for the campaign approach then …
1 Why didn’t they address the issue of ‘taboo’ head-on because what they’re actually doing is embracing the ‘secrecy’ angle via the euphemism [which isn’t really a euphemism, it’s an old joke from the Naked Gun movies]
2 Why did they use television at all if women find it hard to talk about that sort of thing in public? I mean, a fucking beaver representing a vagina is hardly subtle.
3 Why don’t they talk more about the health issues/concerns that women feel they can’t openly talk about?
4 Why don’t they come up with a reason why ’20 something women’ should choose KOTEX over a competitor?
Look I’m all for talkability and breaking new ground [ie: I think my experience with Tango, Scalextric, Virgin and Mini to name a few proves that] but this ad just smacks of agency and client indulgence, justified by the sort of ‘evidence’ that would be laughed out by most courts in the World.
Shock is great if it still has real relevance and resonance with the consumer, however without it’s just bad disruption – and while I am sure they will have tons of research and feedback saying it’s been good, the reality is what KOTEX is saying/doing is nothing different from the category [infact, they’re not really saying anything about themselves at all] they’re just relying on a “LOOK AT ME” strategy, which actually say’s they’ve got fuck all interesting to say about themselves.
I absolutely hate the ‘awareness’ metric companies use to justify their ads.
To me it’s lazy marketing/advertising and tends to be an excuse for not finding/creating something that IS of interest to the masses – even if that is just interms of the creative message/philosophy/delivery.
Hell, Britney Spears has masses of awareness but that doesn’t mean people are rushing out to be like her.
My standard response to advertising like this is that if awareness is all that’s wanted, pay me a million bucks and I’ll run down the street naked, fucking a frozen turkey shouting the clients brand name at the top of my voice.
[And if you think I’m joking, ask Lee Hill!]
I am so fucked off about this … however what annoys me most is that there really are good ways to communicate tampons to women – ways that don’t rely on gratuitous shock or keeping things secret – it’s just that clients and agencies tend to be too lazy or too obsessed with themselves to ever let it happen.
Right, as I’m sure some women out there will say I am a ‘typical, ill-informed male’, I will sit back and wait for your responses and/or abuse …
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