Whoever’s pulling the strings at one major tampon-maker has had it with euphemisms. It’s Kotex-ploitation!
Finally, an ad about tampons spoofs stupid ad lingo—”down there,” “sanitary napkins,” “that time of the month”—and dares to actually say the word vagina (you know, where it goes) in a television commercial.
The run-down: “How do I feel about my period? I love it!” says the 20-something actress. As another woman dances in the waves in the sunset, she explains, “I like to twirl, maybe in slow motion, and I do it in my white spandex.” Across the screen, dropping the t-bomb in pink block letters, appears “Why are tampon ads so ridiculous?”
Another upcoming spot says, “I’m going to tell you to buy something. Buy the same tampons I use. Because I’m wearing white pants, and I have good hair, and you wish you could be me.” Block letters ask “Why are tampon ads so obnoxious?”
Both ads have three major (unnamed) US networks seeing red: two of them immediately vetoed the campaign. The producers even re-shot to include the unbearable “down there” instead, but the ads were declared too bitchy—also irritable and prone to outbursts—for any time of the month.
“The whole spot is about censorship,” said Merrie Harris, global business director at JWT, the agency that produced the ads. Luckily, there’s a smear-happy place called the Internet where crude euphemisms—”beaver dam!” “Taking Carrie to the prom!”—cannot be censored.