I realise that this may pick a bone of contention with one or two people, similarly to a post about politics, religion, or Manchester United. I am a man, I do not currently have a vagina (despite all of the crude comments from my mates alluding to the fact that I do) and I really don’t enjoy the sheer volume of feminine hygiene product ads that I have to sit through when watching TV. I’m almost certain that even if I did have a vagina, I would not be that amped about watching how a piece of what is essentially material with technology that is shared with a nappy can make me more confident in an edited 1 minute and 30 second clip.
From the utterly ridiculous adverts with school girls dancing around while lining up for roll call in the morning and chanting how they don’t have to “check check”, to more technical ones featuring what appears to be a highly scientific if not CSI-esque approach to pads and other feminine hygiene products. So in essence these adverts are aimed at educating the masses of girls who have no idea how to use these products as well as enticing women to purchase confidence for their vaginas in nifty 16 packs right? Well in my opinion these adverts are missing the mark- I don’t know of many girls that would indeed do a dance, other than to celebrate the fact that their contraception has worked and that they are no longer at risk of having a child for the next couple of days. Educational? No I don’t think so.
So you’ve gotten to the point where you, who lives in a township and who has managed to catch the latest Always Ultra advert during a break in Generations, have purchased a 16 pack of lightly fragranced pads. Have you noticed how complex the directions are on the back of the pack? I mean really looked? The other day I was reading the back of one in an aisle in Pick’nPay (amid looks and fake smiles from female customers around me trying to make it not obvious that they needed to purchase the heavy flow option), only to be presented with a concept that I had never been exposed to. (DISCLAIMER: I was not buying pads for my mooiness, this was purely for research). In bold writing this particular brand spoke of a “Whisper pad” – a whisper pad, I thought… What the hell was that? Upon closer examination it went into more detail saying that it was meant for “ultimate discretion”. I’m a fairly well read individual and I had no idea what was that meant- I don’t even want to think about someone who doesn’t speak English as a first language and has to deal with stigma associated with feminine hygiene in townships and rural areas.
Thankfully there are ads that don’t leave me cringing wishing for 30 seconds of a dancing Eliza Dushku to make things ok- like the one from Kotex. This advert has mooiness in various types of underwear that have been popular over the years with a pleasant hum-along number in the background. It’s appealing to guys and drives home the point that feminine hygiene products need to change and fit the modern female’s needs. I even hummed along to the ad until they mentioned absorption. I momentarily considered the fact that I would be a great deal more ok with popping a pack of these into my shopping cart for the mooiness to accompany my fedra-cut bottle. It faded. Quickly.
I don’t actually know if these ads influence women and their buying patterns at all. They also don’t do much to put guys at ease if they have to shop for pads at the shops, in an emergency situation or for their daughters. According to these ads it seems that an entire litre bucket of blue liquid is expected to pour out of that place we love so much and be locked away in moisture prison like the latest baby nappy does. It’s terrifying and a horribly emasculating task to go and do. I am a new age guy and I love women, but nothing says, “my balls are at home in a jar with purple flowers on it” than standing in the queue at your Pick’nPay with a pack of heavy flow pads, looking rather confused when the female cashier gives you a strange look when she scans the pads.
Guys are different from girls. Period. (sorry). I know if we had a biological bit of coding that caused us to bleed from our penises for example, we wouldn’t want people advertising willy-wraps between halves of the football. We would prefer that it was in a Men’s online publication or magazine that made it slightly less about feeling confident and doing a dance because you’ve managed to stem the leak and more about facts. Maybe a man riding a white horse, with a beard and a caption saying “I’ve eaten a steak today and privates are fine.”– Ok, maybe a better catchphrase is needed, but you get what I’m trying to say here.
Maybe it’s up to you all to help me out on this one- do these adverts have any value at all to women or guys for that matter, or are we better off filling these spaces with more ads about room fragrancers and dishwashing liquid? There must be a better way…