The Power of Vagina: When PR Campaigns Defy Expectations

Every girl, or woman, knows Kimberly-Clark (Kotex) and Tampax. Men not so much. But then, again, none of the two companies have any interest to “target” men with their advertising/publicity campaigns. Still, Kimberly-Clark’s latest move, a campaign to promote U by Kotex®, is analyzed avidly by men in the industry.  If you look at Kimberly-Clark’s main competitor, Tampax, their approach to “vagina” talk lacks stamina.

At Gawker, Hamilton Nolan kids. At AdAge, Jack Neff concludes that straight talk about anatomy serves the purpose. No matter how you look at it, Kimberly-Clark’s vagina talk scored big in the media. And it resonates with consumers, because Organic, Inc., the agency behind the online campaign, is brilliant – and it created some of the best online campaigns for the purpose. At Ubykotex.com, girls bust myths, ask questions and engage, all in an attempt to make a difference, to “break the silence” and “change the conversation.” Busting myths about vaginas and their menstrual issues is supposed to make a difference for future generations of girls. Oh, yeah, and to make U by Kotex® the tampon of choice.

But for something big like Kimberly-Clark, one agency was not enough. Five PR agencies “talk vagina” in this campaign.According to information provided by Marissa Festante of Marina Maher Communications, Organic Inc handled the re-design of the website and the new mobile site; Ogilvy & Mather NY handled the TV advertisements and the videos featuring real women; and other agencies included Mindshare (media buying), Ogilvy Action (retail) and Marina Maher Communications.

Many have attempted to shock the media in the past, but none has done it classier than Kimberly-Clark this time. The only shock, in some circles, is the use of the word “vagina”, although since the Vagina Monologues, things should have changed enough to allow us all a conversation without blushing bias.

So let’s go on, and be normal about it. Let’s talk vagina – and bust some menstruation myths. Take this ProProfs quiz to see if you are ready:

About the author
Mihaela Lica Butler is an experienced PR professional, senior partner and founder of Pamil Visions PR. She writes about the latest in the PR field at Everything PR and is a widely cited authority on search engine optimization and public relations issues (BBC News, Force for Good, Reuters, Al Jazeera and others). She also occasionally writes for SitePoint, Search Engine Journal, and other online publications. To stay in touch with her latest work, follow her on Twitter.

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