Breaking Through The Vagina Barrier

Holy Hormones Honey! Can it be true? Are we now raising women who are demanding honesty in advertising? ‘Straight talk’ – about feminine hygiene – without using shame?

The Straight Talk Menstruation Ad That’s Causing Quite a Stir

February 25, 2013

kotex-vagina-dialogues-hed-2013Prime-time TV shows like 2 Broke Girls have become far more comfortable using anatomically correct terms for female body parts. But if you think such straight talk is loosening the restrictions on network speech, think again. Making vagina jokes in sitcoms is one thing, but addressing vaginal health in commercials that advertise in those shows, well, that’s just tolerated.

Feminine protection has always been a sensitive topic to handle in advertising, often reliant on euphemism and absurd imagery of women. At its launch three years ago, U by Kotex consciously parodied those ads. And in a new campaign, the brand pushes the boundaries even further.

In the no-holds-barred “Generation Know” pitch, the Kimberly-Clark brand employs TV and online documentaries featuring real young women, doctors and moms talking about the myths surrounding periods. Yes, you can go swimming. No, bears won’t maul you if you’re camping. That was the easy part.

“It wasn’t a battle to sell the idea to the client. It was more of a battle to produce it and get the campaign on air,” said Vicki Azarian, group creative director at Kotex agency Ogilvy. “How do you break through to the consumer if you can’t break through to the media?”

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.