April 30, 2010

For the female demographic

Blog, I realize you are gender-neutral with a masculine vibe, so you may want to cover your eyes for this particular post. The subject is marketing, but it will seem like the subject is tampons. So, I’m sorry about that.

[Now I need to make the first image on this post something other than what I have planned for the second image. The first image is what appears on the Networked Blogs summary, you see. How about this nice pizza?]

Being a Marketing Babe by day, and offspring of an ad man, I find myself constantly analyzing the effectiveness of advertising campaigns. And I have to give an A++++ to Kotex for their new product “U.” Why does it deserve such a high mark? Because (and please forgive the TMI here) although I’m shall-we-say “no longer this product’s target audience,” I actually feel bad that I don’t need to buy any. Wow, that’s impressive--especially when the product is necessary for a reason no one actually enjoys.

First off, I just love the packaging. Davie and I were at a grocery store the other day and passed a display and I really freaked out. I mean, if this look were applied to jewelry or or stationery or bathroom décor, I’d be buying the whole line. I need to use this color scheme in some polyclay project sometime. It kind of reminds me of when we were little kids and did that art project where you cover a piece of paper with day-glo crayon colors, then paint over it with black, then scrape off a picture with the point of a scissors so the colors show through.

But the reason I most approve this product line is the absolutely priceless TV spots. Here’s the first one I saw:

“Oh, that's what’s supposed to happen.”  You gotta love an ad built on snide sarcasm. It expresses feelings we women may not even have known we had about ads for feminine products. All the clichés are spot on.  (Oops, pardon the pun I guess.)

And then I saw this ad, which I liked even better:

This one lampoons the whole business of marketing. Brilliant. As a Marketing Babe I enjoy manipulating the desires of the buying public as much as the next person, but I also admit to exactly what I do. Of course we marketers prey upon your emotions. And if we use clichés, here’s why: they are clichés because they work.

I am put in mind of the one 60-second spot I created myself, the book trailer for my vampire romance novel Bloodchained. You can check it out here if you wish, but I don’t necessarily expect you to lose a full minute of your life in that way.

Romantic music, hot guy, penetrating looks, the implication of danger and lust, a simple presentation of a classic conflict, a bit of suspense...nothing original there. Still, it was really fun to create and pretend for a day that I was some kind of filmmaker. Chah, right. Anyway, as I reflect upon this trailer, I realize I’d love to see a spoof of it. Because we marketers spend so much time passionately (and sometimes desperately) trying to sell stuff, having a good laugh at the whole business is really refreshing.

So thanks, Kotex and your ad agency. I’d give you my business, I really would. In lieu of that, you have the compensation of my having embedded your ads on my blog. And really, how do you place a value on that kind of exposure?

At the very least, it’s worth a pizza.

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