17 Nov

Good? Crude? Both?

I have to ‘fess up and say that this post comes from a video I originally saw on @CreativePool’s Twitter feed.
However, I saw it about five days ago and the reason I’m mentioning it now is because – in that time – I’ve been uhming and aahing over which side of the fence I fall (see title).

Supposedly, the video below is a Russian ad for Tampax. It’s been widely reported that it is in fact fake and was actually a viral used to promote the film ‘Movie 43’. For the purposes of this post I’m going to treat it as if it’s real. Here goes…

It is, without doubt, crude in the extreme. You could even say it’s juvenile, but … take a moment to look at it objectively: without immediate emotions clouding your view.

Adverts for sanitary products are quite hard to create. We’ve moved on from the days of horse-riding, jumping on trampolines, and all of the other things no woman (that I’ve known) actually wants to do during that time of the month.
However, all we seem to have done is move into a world of demonstrating ‘wings’, flexibility, and absorbancy…with blue liquid.
Nearly every sanitary towel/tampon ad is the same. As a woman, how do you choose one brand over another?
With this is mind, if just one brand did something different – something that wasn’t bland, something with a little impact – it stands a chance of being remembered above and beyond the others.
You cannot deny that this Russian ad is completely different to any other tampon ad you’ve seen. You can’t deny that it has impact.

Next: when faced with a brief that says ‘sell Tampax’ (okay there’d be many other details, but mostly irrelevant) and a blank pad, you’d struggle to be anything other than daunted. It takes a significant lateral leap to jump from Tampons to sharks.

‘Leak-proof’ had to be put across to the audience. I don’t think anyone can argue that the product benefit comes through loud and clear, in simple fashion (in a nice, neat 30 seconds). It’s quick and visual.

However, every woman I’ve showed this video to has responded in the same manner: ‘eww’.
I’m not the target audience, they are. This is not the reaction you want from your target audience.
In my limited experience, women do not want jokes made out of having to deal with periods. ‘Pithy’ is okay. ‘Honest’ is okay. Schoolboy humour is not.

The ad could’ve been written by female creatives, or a male-female team, but I highly doubt it.
It seems like the kind of thing that might come up, while working on it, but it should’ve been dismissed as banter, or funny-but-maybe-not.

Ultimately it lacks empathy with those it’s aimed at, unlike this (which I have mentioned before, but it’s worth doing so again).

So, I’ve decided that it falls more under ‘crude’ than ‘good’. It’s an interesting piece of creative thinking, but ultimately it fails in it’s objective.

What do you think?

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