Who Knew Tampons Could Be So Funny?

About a month ago I was watching TV and saw a strange commercial for Always, a feminine pad hygiene product, with the tag line “Have a happy period” with a woman dressed in white pulling a pristine pad out of a box, like as in a magic trick. I couldn’t find that ad but did find a French counterpart in which…well just watch it.

happy period
The themes in the Always ad campaign connote freshness, cleanliness, and relaxation. All words that women think of while menstruating (not).According to a New York Times piece women who use pads versus tampons have a different attitude about their periods. Which leads me to….

Yesterday I was alerted by @mhueter to a TV ad for Tampax in which Serena Williams takes on Mother Nature in a tennis match. When I first saw it, I wasn’t sure if it was hysterically funny and clever or super sexist. After watching it a few times, I’m going with the former. I love this ad! I love it because it uses humor to connect with women, rather than try to sell the idea of sanitary freshness regarding the process of menstruation (a rather mythical idea).

The Tampax ad uses strength, athleticism, physical activity, trash talking, and female athletes to promote a very different message to girls and women, than do the Always ads. The Always ad closely mirrors outdated gender stereotypes which were packaged and sold to women in the 1950’s, while the Tampax ad is a contemporary re-brand that females can do anything…and are not slowed down or marginalized by menstruation. I’m sure others out there find the video offensive, or as one colleague said “insipid”, but I’m sticking with funny. Sometimes one must put her critical lens aside and lighten up. Excuse me while I go watch it again. Game, Set and Match to Tampax 6-0, 6-0.

6 Replies to “Who Knew Tampons Could Be So Funny?”

  1. This. Is. Fantastic.

    I’m with you, it’s hard to tell the first time through (the idea of a period as “gift” still throws me off), then it’s just damn funny. And such a refreshing break from the annoying and misleading Pollyanna Pristine menstruation stuff.

    Three snaps up for posting it!


  2. I will have to agree as well. Watched the video quite a few times, and found myself laughing every time. It almost reminds me of a SNL skit…and come on, although periods clearly aren’t the most enjoyable time of month, we all have had some sort of humorous story or experience regarding “that time of the month.” Kudos to Tampax for creating an honest add that throws some humor into the mix!


  3. Just found your blog through women talk sports (looking for history on why men and women play different numbers of sets in tennis). What a fantastic blog – and this post is amazing. That ad is brilliant.


    1. Jennifer-Glad you found the blog post. I read your blog regularly and love the content. I especially love the name of your blog 😉 clever. As a former tennis player, teaching pro and tennis coach I don’t know the history of different # of sets for men and women. What I can tell you is, it is likely a way to set up the women’s game as a “lesser version” to the men, thus marginalizing the women. It also makes it a “fact” that women aren’t capable of playing 5 sets, and provides “evidence” that men must be superior physically. Personally I think everyone should play 5 sets or everyone should play 3 sets…and I’d argue for 3 sets, as 5 sets gets BORING. Thanks for your post. -nml


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