P&G’s Tampax behind boy with ‘girl parts’ viral

BrandRepublic

by Dan Leahul, Brand Republic 16-Jun-09, 09:25

LONDON – Procter & Gamble’s Tampax has been running a bizarre online campaign featuring a number of short films and a blog about a schoolboy who one day wakes up with “girl parts” instead of “boy parts”.

Since April Procter & Gamble has been quietly promoting Tampax tampons through the blog www.zack16.com, which features a series of regularly updated short films, starring Zack Johnson, who discovers his private parts mysteriously missing one day.

His first entry reads: “So something weird happened to me last night and I’m just trying to deal.

“Went to the bathroom this morning to find that I suddenly possessed the aiming ability of a defective garden sprinkler.

“Soon thereafter I discovered that a super important body part of mine had gone missing. Maybe it went for a midnight stroll and fell into a pond?”

The blog carries along in the same vein, until “Day 9” and an entry titled “Le River Rouge” where Zack experiences first-hand the female menstruation cycle.

Zack writes: “Then BAM! I get hit by the menstrual express. I didn’t even have time to give my new girl parts a pet name like ‘Fifi’ or ‘Alexandra.’

“No, we had to rush right into menstruation. 10 days ago I didn’t even know how to spell ‘menstruation.'”

Tampax is then mentioned regularly throughout the blog, such as: “Well, it’s been 29 days since I got my first period and had to sneak into the girl’s room for some Tampax.

“Those things really saved my butt. Well, not my butt but its next-door neighbor. Second cousin?”

The campaign has also created a Twitter account for Zack, who has nearly 1,000 followers, mostly young women.

The account is updated several times a day, often in candid conversations with his followers, even presenting a link to the Zack16 website to fill in a poll about tampons and pads.

The website and Twitter accounts mention Tampax and features endorsements for the brand but does not contain Procter & Gamble branding.

A P&G spokesman told Advertising Age that the company was just “playing around with some different ideas” adding that the campaign was inexpensive and the company was testing the waters to see if it would be picked up by web users.

The videos have been viewed about 5,700 times on YouTube.

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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.