packaged goods

Kotex Natural Balance Takes On Cliches


Kimberly-Clark's Kotex Natural Balance brand is standing up for what's real. The feminine hygiene brand is tapping comedienne Heather McDonald to star in a series of online videos extending an integrated effort that launched in February. The campaign also mines social media to get women to share their thoughts about what’s real and what’s not so real about the claims, innovations and storylines they see in today’s feminine care ads.

"The Stand Up For What's Real" campaign will include a tour to various urban markets where McDonald, and perhaps local comedy talent will riff on women's issues and clichés. 

This approach isn't that new for Kimberly-Clark, which has made it a point of differentiation to make fun of clichés in marketing of products that deal with touchy physiological subjects, and to avoid the euphemisms to which those clichés (women in white, playing sports and running through fields of flowers) subscribe.



The company has done similar approach for its other line, U by Kotex, whose marketing included a web-based spokesperson relationship with the Kardashian sisters who talked about their own experiences with “that time of the month” and other things online. The company has also taken a straightforward approach to marketing its Depend adult hygiene product.

The new series of videos for Kotex Natural Balance was produced by Alloy Media + Marketing's by its new in-house studio division, Generate Studios, and will run on Alloy digital entertainment networks, including Alloys other recently acquired property women’s digital network B5Media, which includes, and

In the videos, McDonald makes fun of feminine product advertising that focuses on fantastical technology and product benefits that somehow seems more appropriate to a video game or the engine of a sports car than to feminine products. In the new web video series on the Kotex Natural Balance Facebook page ( and YouTube channel ( she makes fun of jargon like nano-breeze maxi pad technology invites women to join in the conversation. McDonald is best known for her role as writer and story producer on E!’s Chelsea Lately

“Hide your trampolines, America, because if a woman on her period is nearby, her pad is scientifically engineered to make her three times more likely to jump on it, thanks to its new Elastibounce Lining technology,” is one riff.  

Women can upload their own videos and comments on the Kotex Natural Balance Facebook page, with submissions being the basis for five other videos starring McDonald. It will also serve as the basis for material for the live "Stand Up For What’s Real" comedy tour later this year. 

Kotex senior brand manager, Kanchan Patkar tells Marketing Daily that the Kimberly-Clark redefined the Kotex brand in late September last year, with an integrated media campaign starting this year. The company launched its brand for teens, "U by Kotex," last year with a digital-centric campaign that had the Kardashians talking about issues. "The insight is that as a group, young women are tired of clichés about lifestyle and technology." Says Patkar, who adds that Kotex Natural Balance is meant to appeal to young women. She says the brand's customer base has a median age of 35. "But this messaging is meant to target 14 year olds and older," she says. "All the way up to women in their 30's. And McDonald appeals to both age groups. She's very funny, has her own style, and will engage young girls as well as those in their 20's and 30's." 

McDonald also added a lot of her own flavor to the videos, but that the content is driven by what young girls are irked by in marketing. "We have so much research on what sorts of things are interesting to young girls, and those are the guiding the topics."  

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