I have. I first saw it last week. And I almost didn’t blog about it. Not because it has to do with menstrual products, but because it is a marketing strategy of such baffling proportion that I didn’t know where to start.
The first draft of this post was a balls-out rant about the video series. But there are others out there who have commented on the topic with much sharper wit than I can ever hope to have.
Instead, I thought I would share my observations on why this campaign is an EPIC FAIL.
First, watch this video. Then read on.
1. It’s an obvious attempt to ride the coattails of the wildly successful Old Spice Guy commercials. The ad agency determined that lowest common denominator was buffed men without shirts, and assumed that women would respond in the same way as they did for Old Spice.
2. The videos don’t know what they want to be. Are they supposed to be amusing? Tongue-in-cheek? Sympathetic? Arousing? Attractive? Informative? You tell me, because I can’t figure it out. And if it’s confusing, it certainly isn’t persuasive.
3. The actors don’t give a s*** about the customer. Watch them. At some point in every one of these videos, the actor’s eyes glaze over, and you can almost read his mind. I performed Hamlet in the park last year. THIS is what I went to Juilliard drama school for? So, guess what? The customer doesn’t give a s*** about them… or the brand.
4. The videos go on FOREVER, without getting anywhere. With the exception of that guy on YouTube who had a nuclear meltdown over Britney Spears a few years ago, I don’t think I’ve ever had three minutes go by so slowly.
5. The creepy factor is off the chart. Many women feel that having men featured in campaigns for feminine products will never work – especially when they’re presented in campaigns like this. To go from seduction to menstruation in the blink of an eye (not to mention god-awful symbolism that pops up throughout the videos) creeps out a potential customer, and it plants the “DO NOT BUY AT ANY COST” seed in the brains of the very customers the brand is trying to attract.
I thought maybe I was being an “old lady” about this issue, and asked several young college-aged women whom I highly respect to watch the series and comment. They were unanimously appalled. As one of these women (enrolled at the Annenberg School of Journalism at USC) commented, “…no woman would ever trust a man to tell her which type of pad to use. HOW WOULD HE KNOW?! That being said, I think viral videos can be very effective, but these videos really miss the mark in my opinion.”
I’ll leave you with the other two videos in the series. Stayfree has created a viral campaign, alright but in my opinion, for all the wrong reasons.
Good thing Stayfree has millions to spend on advertising – they’re going to need it.