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Kotex wins with new anti-ad campaign August 10, 2011

Posted by rmshepard in Uncategorized.
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Kotex launched a new ad campaign in 2010 with a series of anti-ads mocking its previous advertisements for feminine hygiene products. The most popular of those ads so far starts with a young woman who says, “How do I feel about my period? I love it?” She then proceeds to sarcastically poke fun of the euphemisms commonly used in the genre. Kotex is poking fun of its own ways in the ad, which makes it all that much more attractive. As author Elissa Stein told The New York Times, “Fem-care advertising is so sterilized and so removed from what a period is. You never see a bathroom, you never see a woman using a product. They never show someone having cramps or her face breaking out.”

Why are the ads so popular? Some have compared Kotex’s strategy to the same one used by Domino’s in its “turnaround” campaign. Others, though, have praised the feminist message of the commercials. As Mary Williams of Salon wrote: “Kotex may be using all this empowerment to sell their bitchin’ new pads in a cool black box, but if somewhere in the package they’re also selling girls on the notion that their bodies and their functions are nothing to be ashamed of, nothing to be afraid of, and they’re no damn field of daisies either, that’s just fine. It might even be worth doing cartwheels over.”

To see the “Reality Check” ad by Kotex, watch the following video:

Discussion Questions:

1.  What is an anti-ad? Why are they so popular?

2.  What is the risk of an anti-ad, like that above produced for Kotex?

3.  Are we nearing the time when tampon ads can stop using euphemisms? Why, or why not?

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