Hi, please

Why are tampon ads so obnoxious?

That’s what Kotex wants to know.  In this travelogue I decided to ditch the movie format and go for podcast/slides.  While I did have fun learning a new program and working on the movie for last week, I felt – and several of you commented – that the movie didn’t actually contain very much information.  So, I tried again with a different rich media.  Your feedback is welcome!

Travelogue 4 from Alexandra Cale on Vimeo.

Similar Posts:


  1. nadine 10:24, Apr 6th, 10

    Great job!!! Wow, did you record this in one shot??!! This medium works perfectly for analyzing the campaign. Good speaking space, very natural (did you work with bullet points?), congratulations! The podcast is excellent, the slides too. The presentation is a little bit too long (for an travelogue update). I had the same dilemma: when does a podcast become too long for our class blog? I though that the pain threshold is 10 min, but maybe this is even too long. You could have cut the presentation in half, and post 2 short podcasts (general campaign info, analysis of Jordan’s project).

    Now about the campaign: I really like the new box design! Much better indeed! Appealing aspect for the consumer.

    I can see how getting Kotex ads censured triggered a lot of media attention. Do you think that this was a planned publicity coup? Wasn’t it clear from the start that the networks would censor the word vagina in a commercial?!

    I like that you give statistics on how many users actually participate on ubyKotex. Seems that only a minority collaborates. Considering that Kotex has a huge campaign budget, we could consider this a failure (making the parallel to Jimena’s post).

    Interesting evaluation of Jordan’s campaign too. It looks like she is doing a good job. Her tone and posts fit the mantra “be real.” It is curious how companies and even politicians marked themselves by shaming themselves (or the industry). It has all become about a) not making it for the money (of course they do!) and b) not doing politics (of course it’s their goal!).

  2. Alexandra 11:46, Apr 6th, 10

    Thanks for your comments Nadine! I did record it in one shot, but I planned out my notes ahead of time so I would know what to say. I agree, it is too long – I am learning as I go. If I had tried a podcast last week, I could (and should) have done it in two parts like you suggest. So I felt like I had a lot of catching up to do since I thought last week’s needed some more meat.

    As far as whether it was planned publicity… I don’t know for sure but I wouldn’t be surprised! It does seem pretty perfect. They probably knew that those commercials would never get on the air and that someone would pick it up and write about it. I am still trying to get the inside scoop from the agency that designed the website, but I am not sure whether I will be able to get that interview. Hopefully more details to come!

  3. ElzbthMllr 12:38, Apr 6th, 10

    Hey great job, I think this format suits the subject and sytle of your research much better!

    I think there are a couple of things going on: 1. use of social media (allowing users to make their own videos, to call out fake ads etc). But the question is does this lead to greater sales? Also what about double standards on TV? Are these ads more provocative or less than ads for things like Viagra, etc. I tend to be a bit negative when I think about company’s mostivation I think this is all about marketing, getting publicity etc. But they are definitely using new tactics to get there. Will be interesting to see what happens with it next.

    I agree, a bit shorter would be better for the future, but seriously great job!

  4. Leslie 13:14, Apr 6th, 10

    Good job! I was wondering the same thing Nadine was about the censorship of their campaign…I feel like they probably knew about this in the beginning and did it on purpose for PR. Either way, it sends a message out and helps to further their point…and if it was done on purpose, I think it was a very creative, good idea.

    Jordan’s campaign using social media seems very “real,” but I feel like the whole “these tampons are cute” almost takes away from that. Like you said, who cares if they’re cute? This campaign isn’t about that- isn’t the campaign supposed to be about getting away from the stereotypical “pink” look and how everything has to be pretty and sterilized? I feel like saying the tampons are “cute” almost plays right back into that. Unless this is supposed to be sarcastic?

  5. mushon 16:42, Apr 7th, 10

    Great job. Too long, that’s true, but still, I learned a lot and since you didn’t have too many slides there I found myself listening to your narration while working on my Photoshop file (designing + listening to podcasts works for me). So that is actually good since when I wanted to see the visual I flipped back to the browser = flexible.

    Now to the content. This is yet again a campaign trying to “get real”, to envoke corporate responsibility and to wrap itself in social causes. These are important causes no doubt, but still I come back to the question whether this corporate-marketing + social-cause = sustainable model.

    To illustrate my point, Kotex got us to sign a petition to “break the cycle”, but would they sign a petition promising to refrain from ever (!) using these conservative images again? Can they promise us they would never show a girl in white spandex on a beach again? Obviously not, how can they?

    I don’t want to come off as being too cynical, but I think there’s only so far a campaign like that can go. In the same time, I do prefer corporations fiddle with social responsibility than give it up altogether. It makes for a better world, I’m not sure it makes for better profit. Corporations are indifferent to making the world better, while they are solely dedicated to making a profit.

    So the question remains, how can corporate responsibility be both sincere, sustainable and make business sense? And is there anything in Kotex’s new campaign to convince us they are on their way to discovering this complicated formula?

  6. rachelle wood 00:53, Apr 14th, 10

    Im the actress in the “so obnoxious” commercial… in the white pants! haha
    I just found this site and am very impressed!!! Keep up the good work :)