Kotex: Repositioning Periods

24 Mar



Companies like Always and Kotex have been trying to convince women to think differently about them for years.  In advertisements, they show ecstatic women or introduce fantasy elements in failed attempts to segment their products from the innate “ugh” factor.

Kotex, the oldest and largest producer of feminine products, has decided it’s time for a change.

Instead of focusing on deluding women into thoughts of happiness or fantasy, the latest Kotex campaign encourages women to “get real,” challenging the underlying attitudes of disgust and shame firmly rooted in the female psyche.

The campaign began the week of March 15th with the release of “Apology,” an ad by Kotex that wittily mocks its own previous commercials to highlight the unhealthy culture that women and the media have perpetuated.


This message is extended to the company’s website, which, in a seamless combination of flash animation, bold colors, resonating quotes, and shocking statistics, reaffirms the dire need for the campaign.  The site is full of articles, advice, and tips from a panel of health experts, mothers, and peers.

Educating consumers about culture and lifestyle surrounding a product is not revolutionary.  Kotex’s biggest competitor, Always, does the same.  What is different is that Kotex is vigorously promoting these resources to young women and packaging them in a more engaging, vibrant, and cooler way.  Literally.  In fact, the products themselves are packaged in black boxes and are individually wrapped in one of four bold colors.

“ ‘This has been an institutional type of product, with products that are white and light blue and boring, and what we have is a variety of bold lipstick colors in each pack,” said Mr. Meurer, of Kotex. “What we like to say is ‘We’re taking the category from institutional care to personal care.’ ”

Kotex is establishing itself as the premiere brand for women between the ages of 14 and 21.  It partnered with popular television host Tyra Banks to promote the campaign.  Bringing its panel of experts to the show to talk with audience members about many of the issues discussed on the website, the company is becoming the bold face of women’s health.   Questions that either go unasked or answered by a less reputable sources finally have a viable outlet.




Not everyone is ready for the campaign’s frankness.  According to the New York Times, two networks rejected the advertisements completely.

What do you think?  Is the new advertisement campaign bold, fresh and powerful?  Or is it just too much for the U.S. market to handle?

Kotex launched a similar campaign in Australia exactly a year ago.  Below are some of the commercials.


One Response to “Kotex: Repositioning Periods”

  1. sf013 April 15, 2010 at 10:29 pm #

    the first ukotex is really good…i like companies who kind of mock themselves and their industry…but the beavers one not as much…a little weird lol


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