About That Kotex Anti-Tampon-Ad Tampon Ad
When I first saw this Kotex commercial, in which a dark-haired, sarcasm-talking, refreshingly normal girl makes fun of all the ridiculous imagery in normal tampon commercials (girls twirling in slow motion on the beach; girls dancing together in a bedroom; blue water being absorbed), I knew it would set the Internets aflame.
So far, it has. It’s gotten the New York Times, the Sexist, and Feministing talking. All of the discussions have pointed out that despite the refreshing nature of the commercial, it still doesn’t use the word “vagina,” which is still weirdly off-limits even when discussing a product made for your vagina.
I’m not surprised that people are loving the concept of this commercial – whenever a person or company showcases its ability to make fun of himself/itself, people eat that shit up. The success of comedy ventures like Funny or Die, which posts mostly videos of celebrities mocking themselves in some way, is entirely dependent on this concept.
But as an ad campaign, I’m afraid I can’t jump on the bandwagon. It’s not that I don’t agree that the ads for feminine products are ridiculous. They are. But they’re ridiculous because in addition to taking a pretty gross and uncomfortable bodily function and making it look girly and whimsical, they say very little about the product itself, or why you should choose it. The Kotex ads only amplify this – they say virtually nothing about Kotex products themselves, or why any woman would want to use them other than because the people in their marketing department are sort-of clever.
It’s one thing when cultural critics like Sarah Haskins make (hilarious) note of the ridiculous ads targeting women; it’s another when the companies themselves do it for commercial purposes.