So, TEDx Sheffield and Docfest were amazing! I had a great time, met more awesome people than I can count on both hands and feet, saw fascinating talks and outstanding films. I really enjoyed sharing my femcare advertising deconstructions in a new setting, and collected exactly two more of those visceral reactions to people hearing the name of the zine. Then, last night, someone mentioned the most recent Femfresh campaign.
The latest Femfresh ad campaign (slogan: Whatever you call it, love it.) uses euphemisms for your vagina and tells you that if you know what’s good for you (it?) you’ll buy their stuff. That loving it (yourself?) means using their product.
Now, I’ve said in the zine, on here, and live: we’re self-cleaning, like ovens, so we don’t need this stuff, and if we really loved ourselves, we wouldn’t accept these messages from advertisers. But that hasn’t stopped them using the same techniques in the Femfresh campaign (which you can look up online – I’m loath to link it here and send web traffic toward a femcare company, although their Facebook page is rife with rebuttals and is actually being rather amusingly hijacked, if you care to check it out) over sixty years after this ad…
Now. This Zonite ad, from the Duke University Ad*Access archive in the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History, is one of the first ads I deconstructed in Adventures in Menstruating #1, and the first I showed in the Pecha Kucha and TEDx talks. Same messages as the Femfresh ad: euphemisms instead of grown-up words, buy their stuff to sort it out ASAP, and creating the solution for an imaginary problem that they’ve also, conveniently, hyped up.
That was 1950. This is 2012. It’s time to move on.