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Kotex Makes Fun Of Feminine Care Ads

U Kotex ad

  Kimberly-Clark's Kotex brand is hoping to break down the stigmas and embarrassment surrounding feminine care products.

The Dallas-based company is introducing a new product line called "U by Kotex." An integrated marketing campaign debuts this week and includes three TV spots with the tagline "Break the cycle." The spots satirize the unrealistic images associated with past feminine care ads, such as women dancing around in white spandex. The first spot, "Apology/Reality Check" launched March 16 on YouTube.

Prime-time TV placements initially include The CW, Fox and MTV and will expand on April 5 to include E, Vh1, Teen Nick, ABC Family and BET.

The campaign includes a product integration on the "Tyra Banks Show." Other elements include a community-driven Web site, targeted print, TV and online advertising, direct-to-consumer online communications, extensive consumer sampling and retail in-store support. The campaign was created by JWT, Marina Maher Communications, Organic, Inc. and Mindshare World.



Online ads will appear on Hearst, Facebook, MySpace, SheKnows, WebMD, Yahoo, Gorilla Nation, Terra and Batanga. Print will appear in InTouch Weekly, Us Weekly, Seventeen, Teen Vogue, Women's Health, Cosmopolitan, People and Latina. The product line also includes new packaging, and will be shipped to U.S. retailers beginning March 28.

The launch is Kotex brand's first step in redefining the category by encouraging women to change the conversation surrounding feminine care from one of shame and embarrassment to one of open, honest dialogue, says Aida Flick, Kotex brand director.

"Society has created shame and embarrassment around periods and vaginal health, which restricts honest dialogue and information sharing and compromises a women's ability to take ownership of her personal care," Flick tells Marketing Daily. "With the launch of U by Kotex, our goal is to change the conversation and to help women understand and be comfortable with their femininity and bodies."

According to a study conducted online in August 2009 by Harris Interactive on behalf of Kotex, among more than 1,600 North American women ages 14-35, 7 in 10 women believe it's time for society to change how it talks about vaginal health, yet less than half (45%) feel empowered to make a difference.

Kotex admits that it has been among the advertisers that have been perpetuating this cultural stigma by emphasizing that the best menstrual period is one that is ignored. Kotex will position itself differently going forward to stand for "truth, transparency and progressive vagina care."

2 comments about "Kotex Makes Fun Of Feminine Care Ads ".
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  1. Monica Bower from TERiX Computer Service, March 17, 2010 at 8:59 a.m.

    "Vaginal health"? Seriously?

    So when is Aamco going to commit to open, enlightened discussion about "exhaust pipe care"?

    Perhaps to the disappointment of the brand, and whatever agency came up with this vaguely demeaning term, there are several other organs involved in women's reproductive health besides the vagina. Difficult to take a commitment to openness seriously when the term itself is at least inaccurate if not purposely intended to misdirect attention from a biological to a specifically sexual context, presumably so men (expected, apparently, to be knuckle-dragging apes about the whole thing) can visualize it better and maybe have something to giggle about rather than recoil at.

    Until they tint the water red instead of blue, I'm not buying it. I'd honestly rather have the team behind Bud Light's TV campaigns tackle this issue, in this light - better to be actually funny than merely juvenile.

  2. Amy Fanter from Odds On Promotions, March 17, 2010 at 12:22 p.m.

    I read this story and have one word ... "eww". Putting this message on Teen Nick and ABC Family? Double ewww... Sorry I think previous poster is right o the money. I'm not buying it.

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