Why do tampon ads have to be annoying?

There are certain product categories that i wouldn’t want to write ads for. Adult diapers. Hemorrhoid cream. Feminine hygiene. Especially feminine hygiene.

Why? Because I feel like all ads for tampons and pads are exactly the same…and ridiculous to boot. They all feature pretty girls dancing around with not a care in the world…often wearing white pants…sometimes even wearing swimsuits. The message seems to be, “Buy our brand of pads or tampons and your period will be a party.”

I don’t know about you, but when that time of month rolls around for me, I don’t feel like twirling around in white pants. I feel like throwing a rock at the TV every time I see a tampon ad.

Which is why I loved this ad for U by Kotex, a new line of tampons, pads and liners. It mocks all the stereotypes of feminine hygiene advertising. Pretty girls. Carefree dancing. White pants.

I love this ad because it’s relatable. I’m not the only one that is fed up with tampon ads. Heck, a tampon company is even fed up with tampon ads.

This is an innovative approach for a 90-year-old feminine care brand. Mocking traditional feminine hygiene advertising–include some of Kotex’s very own advertising (check out the “Reality Check” spot that mocks clips from older Kotex ads)–was definitely a risk. But it was a good risk that yielded a great campaign.

Making fun of your own industry AND your own company to prove a point? Now that’s bold.


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Filed under Advertising, Commercials, Copywriting

Show and Tell

Have you noticed that lately every other movie that comes to the theaters is in 3D? Toy Story. Avatar. Resident Evil. No genre is immune the 3D explosion.

And now, it seems advertising is jumping on the 3D bandwagon.

Case in point? A Wonderbra billboard currently hanging in London. The ad features Brazilian model Sabraine Banando displaying her assets with the headline “Experience the Full Effect.”

Does the image look blurry to you? Well, that’s because if you just happen to pass this billboard and have your 3D goggles handy (and who doesn’t?), the ad will appear in 3D. Yup, that’s right. Sabraine’s boobs will show you exactly how a Wonderbra can make your boobs pop.

It’s an interesting idea, and it plays off the growing trend of 3D movies. But some people seem to think it’s going to cause car accidents. Maybe so. Maybe a bigger concern is, who carries around 3D glasses with them at all times? And at the end of the day, a 3D billboard without 3D glasses is just a blurry image that’s guaranteed to give you a headache.


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Filed under Advertising, Billboards


I’ve seen a lot of really bad commercials. I’m sure you have too.

But have you seen any commercials lately that actually render you speechless because they are so terrible? Silence is then quickly followed by a loud proclamation of, “What the hell?!”

Watch the newest Snuggie commercial…where folks are doing all sorts of ridiculous things like hula hooping on the bed…all, of course, while wearing their Snuggies. And, in the background a jingle–that happens to go to the tune of the Macarena–plays talking about all the fabulous things you can do while sporting your Snuggie.

I seriously have no words. These Snuggie people cannot be serious.

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Hip Hamsters

Just about every car commercial is the same. First, you see a shiny car driving around a city or a highway. At the end, there’s a hero shot of the car. Insert car brand and tagline here.

Well, Kia–along with their ad agency David&Goliath–has apparently decided that it’s time to do something different…by creating a commercial for the Kia Soul that features a bunch of rodents.

Yep, rodents. More specifically, hamsters.

In the streets of a city, “lame” hamsters are spinning around in hamster wheels while hip hamsters are rapping, looking cool and riding around in a Kia Soul.

Why hamsters? If you know, please tell me.

Every time I see this commercial, I want to bang my head against the wall. I’m amazed that someone came up with this concept, and even more amazed that so many people signed off on it.

Give me a generic car commercial over this anyday.

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Filed under Advertising, Commercials

Markers are Romantic

When I worked at an ad agency, we did a warm-up exercise during a meeting where we had to think of as many different features of a simple #2 pencil as we could during a set time period. Then, we had to think of how those features served as benefits for the pencil’s user.

I wonder if this was what the process was like when Sharpie was building its latest “Uncap what’s inside” campaign.

First, I saw this ad in a magazine. A shark is drawn on the side of a fishbowl (presumably with a Sharpie) and looks about ready to attack the bowl’s resident goldfish.

Then, I saw a Sharpie commercial from the same campaign that starts by asking:

What if the passion of a Sharpie marker came in a pen?

This ad shows a series of fun doodles on post-it notes made by a guy to document the things he loves about his lady. At the end of the commercials, the guy arranges the post-its so they spell, “Will you marry me?”

I’m not very romantic, but I love this commercial…and the whole campaign. It’s fun, bright, different… and definitely a creative way to sell a boring product like a pen.

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Filed under Advertising, Commercials

Pom Not So Wonderful

When I was in high school, my best friend got a t-shirt in exchange for donating blood. The shirt had a cartoon bag of blood hanging out on a chair at the beach. As someone who is queasy about blood (although I’m the daughter of two healthcare professionals—go figure), I got a little light headed each time she wore that shirt. Sometimes, I’d even dry heave. I can’t explain it. The blood bag just grossed me out.

I admit it. I’m a wiener when it comes to blood. And I didn’t think there was much that could gross me out like the idea of a bag of blood hanging out at the beach. That is, until I saw this ad for Pom Wonderful juice at the bus stop.

Yup, that’s a bottle of Pom Pomegranate juice posing as a blood bag. Just like a blood bag delivers life saving hemoglobin to patients in need, the bottle of Pom is delivering important antioxidants to anyone who decides to drink it.

Okay okay. I get it. Pomegranate juice is a super food and will make me super healthy if I drink it. But ick! This ad is disgusting!

I thought maybe Pom decided this would be a good ad concept because of the boom in vampire popularity. But a Google search told me that these ads have been around for years now—I’m just now seeing them for the first time. And with any luck, they won’t be around much longer…causing me to dry heave each time I wait for my bus.

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Filed under Advertising, Chicago, Transit Advertising

Whoopi for Bladder Control!

Have you ever witnessed something happening to another person and you actually felt embarrassed for them? That’s how I felt when I saw this ad for Poise “bladder control solutions” featuring Whoopi Goldberg.

As I mentioned in a recent post, there are just certain products that are tough to advertise. Pads that keep you dry despite bladder control issues? Definitely a product that falls into that category. Throw a celebrity into the mix, and it’s even more awkward.

The headline reads, “There’s a 1 in 3 chance that wasn’t a smile on Mona Lisa’s face.”

The ad points you to 1in3likeme.com, Poise’s microsite that goes into detail about how one in three women suffer from light bladder leakage (LBL). Luckily, Poise products can help you manage this problem with ease.

The site has several videos that use humor to educate women on bladder control and the benefits of Poise products. Whoopi Goldberg stars in the videos as Mona Lisa, the Statue of Liberty, Cleopatra and other historic figures to show ladies that bladder control issues can happen to anyone.

I know this a real issue for lots of women, but the ads make me feel awkward. I just can’t decide if humor is the way to go. I’ll tell you one thing though. I’ve got to give Whoopi props for not giving a damn what people think. She’s the spokesperson for a bladder leakage product. While it’s certainly not the sexiest product to represent, she’s stands proud to show women that they’re not alone.

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Filed under Advertising, Print