“Excuse me sir, I don’t have a lock for my bike,” says the young girl to
a male passerby. “Can you run into the store and grab me some tampons?”
Thus begins one of several “social experiment” videos that are a part of
UbyKotex’s brilliant “Break the Cycle” campaign designed to change the
way we take about vaginas, periods and women’s reproductive healthcare.
Unlike the series of YouTube videos I dissed in my last blog post Would You Buy a Maxi Pad From A Half-Naked Man?, the Kotex campaign takes a bold, creative, provocative and most important, sensible approach to the business of advertising feminine products.
They guys’ in the street responses in the video caused me to laugh out loud:
Another in the social experiment series took me beyond laughter, it had me rolling on the floor. The man-in-the-grocery-store piece
centers on a young man seeking advice from other
shoppers on what kind of product to buy his girlfriend who is, you know,
on her (shhhhhhh, don’t say it too loud) period….
Any woman who has ever stood, baffled, as I have many times, in front of
a wall of feminine products variously described as scented, unscented,
maxi, mini, winged, unwinged, thin, ultra-thin, semi-thin, first day,
last day, mid-day, regular, medium, heavy, etceteras, will appreciate
the conundrum depicted in by the actor in this bit called “Help me
The “social experiments” are complimented by clever ads that lampoon the
traditional approach to the kind of advertising normally associated
with this kind of product.
I love them:
Why are tampon ads so obnoxious?
Why are tampon ads so ridiculous?
Hip hip hooray for Kotex, one company that finally "got it" with their UbyKotex campaign,
the goal of which they explain thus on their website (which, BTW has
NOTHING to do with butterflies, white spandex or danelion fluff – it’s
black and bold and wonderfully frank and in your face):
Newsflash: It’s not the 1950s anymore. Talking openly about many
intimate health issues is no longer taboo. In fact, it’s encouraged,
leading to increased awareness and better health care for people
everywhere. So why is it that society and the media still can’t get it
together when it comes to women’s issues below the waist? Sadly, this
secrecy and shame about all things related to vaginal health have a
negative impact on a woman’s body image, self-esteem and overall health.
In a recent survey, 70% of women said they wish society would change
the way it talks about vaginal health, but less than half feel like they
can do anything about it. U by Kotex* brand wants to help women change
the conversation about periods and vaginal care. By bringing it out into
the open, we hope that every woman will learn to think differently,
talk openly, take charge, help Break the Cycle* and begin to feel
comfortable with her body and confident about her personal care.
I’m one of the 70% of women who wish society would change the way we all talk about vaginal health.
I’m also one of the 98% of women who know you can’t tell a woman is on her period by looking at her…
…and one of the 72% of women who feel that society is more comfortable talking about penises than about vaginas…
…and I feel strongly that there’s something I can do about it. So I’m
doing it. This blog post is part of what I’m doing, as is most of this
I’m not a mother, so I have no sons or daughters to influence, but I
salute Moms who talk to their daughters (and sons!), about things other
How about you? What, if anything, are you doing?