Friday, 3 September 2010

Feminine Hygiene: The Landmine in the Ad Break

The menstrual cycle, the scourge of men, women and in recent times television viewers everywhere. Period’s happen, we all know this and we live with it, we just don’t talk about it. Why? Because it’s unpleasant, no matter which way you look at it it boils down to two words, bleeding vaginas. Wince a little? Of course you did, this is why nobody discusses jammy dodger season. Unfortunately the necessity of ‘feminine hygiene products’ has created a necessity to advertise said products, meaning we are now subjected to thinking about this unfortunate twist of nature potentially any time we are too lazy to get up and do something constructive during the ad break.

I can’t tell you much about the vast array of products designed for that certain time of the month apart from Always Ultra sanitary pads, a name now burned into my head thanks to its incredible advertising techniques. My first encounter with this particular ad came a long time ago whilst enjoying Chuck Norris at his finest, before he was cool, in ‘Walker: Texas Ranger’ on Bravo in the middle of the day. Now forgive me if I’m wrong, but surely, no woman is ever watching Bravo, a channel that is so overly macho you expect it to give you a playful yet bruising punch in the ribs and a pint of Stella served on a Nuts magazine every time you tune in. Despite this however this particularly worrying advertisement came blazing on to screen about as welcome as a pork chop in a synagogue right in the middle of a program that is so male oriented it borders homoeroticism.

Instantly we’re hit by a wonderful visual metaphor of bumper cars bouncing off the new “blue secure guard protective contours” which according to the soft female voice narrating this mental torture keep “all you’d want, exactly where you’d want it to be” now I can’t speak as a woman, but I believe if women had a choice the vast majority would want the lining of their uterus to stay where it was and not have to periodically bleed it out, no matter how great the “blue secure guard contours” are. This awful visual metaphor continues for a round twenty seconds, accompanied by traditional fairground/circus music, a disturbing juxtaposition which gives the advert a sinister nightmarish feel ensuring that what you have just seen will be scarred in to your memory forever. It all ends with a tag line that baffles even the greatest minds “Have a happy period” I challenge everyone reading this (if anyone is actually reading this) to find anybody who has experienced a “happy period” A time of the month where women become irritable (understandably may I add just to ensure the sexist door in this post is firmly locked shut) and straight men in committed relationships have to wait anything up to a week to enjoy penetrative sex again, or not, if that’s how you choose to live your life.

We hardly ever see adverts for other genital related products such as condoms or contraceptive pills and there’s a simple reason nobody suffers as a result of their infrequent exposure, it’s because we already know they exist. Like we already know tampons and sanitary pads exist, for what reason do we need televised reminders of their existence, purpose and availability on such a regular basis other than to spoil peoples viewing enjoyment?

1 comment:

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