News__ BREAK THE CYCLE

August 30, 2010 | By

Kotex recently unleashed a new series of tampon commercials that aim to expose the illogical fears about feminine products. Compared to the usual tampon ads which are 30 seconds of smiling girls twirling in white dresses, fluffy animals, butterflies and women doing unified split leaps over puddles of water (you know, normal everyday stuff), the message in Kotex's "Break the Cycle" series is new and refreshing.

On the U by Kotex website it states, "Time to stop all the weirdness about periods, don’t you think? Progress is where it’s at. Every video watched, every comment made and every question asked helps change unhealthy attitudes and Break the Cycle*." Now, let's pick this apart for a second here because these advertisements are a brilliant marriage of feminism and product sales. Why hasn't this been done before? Advertising has changed and we are able to incorporate new realities to cleverly sell products like cereal, life insurance or maxi pads. But seriously, why hasn't this been done before? Tampon fear is as old as dirt.

From the "Rorschach Test" to the "Job Interview" we chime in on a series of ads from Kotex's latest campaign. Check it out below.

"BUY ME TAMPONS?"

The great thing about this ad is that most men can't even repeat the word "tampons" when the extremely attractive, girl-next-door asks these male strangers to do her a quick favor. Yes, it's a pretty crazy request and it makes sense that most men shake their heads. Imagine if some young man stopped you on the street and asked you to go into the pharmacy and buy condoms or Prep H.  It's a very intimate request, but regardless, you could do it.  However, buying tampons is a whole new hell. "I don't know the first thing about buying that stuff." And that is the main message, "Why are 40% of people uncomfortable buying tampons?" Men are uncomfortable buying tampons for the same reason most women are: shame, fear and disgust--check the young dude who replies, "That's gross"--associated with the reality of female reproductive organs. This leads us to the next ad.

"RORSCHACH TEST"

Words used instead of "vagina": woman, lady bits, butterfly, insect, heart, starfish and who-hah.

Words used instead of "penis": pee-pee, mushroom and meat banana. (Um, pardon me?)

"JOB INTERVIEW"

When a woman has her period her skin does not change color, she doesn't grow a tail, her brain stays the same size and her feet do not turn into "meat bananas." The only thing that happens is that she bleeds for a few days and has to spend $10 -$15 on tampons. That is why she is cranky.

"HELP ME CHOOSE"

"Is your girlfriend tall?" This one is just hilarious.

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