Written By Darren Seys - June 22, 2009
So DOSE is my ode (or shameless crush) to advertising that has caught my eye.
This week, that piece is the latest viral/online video campaign for TAMPAX. It stars a pubescent 16 year-old named Zack Johnson. Zack mysteriously awakens to find the aim on his morning water-pistol is now resembling the buck shot of a sawed-off shotgun. The culprit? Zack’s “twig and berries” have been swapped out for a vagina by the magical vagina fairy-not really but we’re speculating here.
Having lost his man parts, Zack struggles socially and physically in his day to day school life. Winged by his comrade Bryan and crushing on the school hottie, Chelsea, Zack documents his encounters on twitter @zack16 and his website www.zack16.com. Through social marketing and videos, Zack analyzes the pains of having PMS, hovering over a stall to pee, cramping, sudden weight gains and mood swings. A situation, as he states “I know what it feels like to be a girl and it’s rough! I think every dude should have a period just once.” After experiencing what women go through, Zack quickly apologizes for men everywhere (yes this includes excessive pee on the toilet seat). The viral videos total about 12 minutes in all, while being broken up into smaller 3 minute versions for release.
The cleverness and genius of the campaign comes when you are subtlety given the campaigns promoter and creator Tampax during the last 2 minutes of the 12 minute video run. After realizing he is having a period, Zack strikes a chord with neanderthal ingenuity and creates a “man pad” out of wadded up toilet paper, which of course, doesn’t work. He then sneaks into the girls locker room to grab a tampon from the Tampax labeled vending machine. Upon which, he returns to class right as rain, ready for next month. No Tampax sign off, no jingle, no website push, just that one hidden clue 2 minutes back.
Upon initial reaction, I had a hard time connecting the campaign to women and the targeted demographic. How could this 16-year old kid reach women across the nation and say after one day of experiencing what they have for the majority of their lives, he knows exactly how they feel? But I realized it’s not the age or demographic that is important here, but rather the message. What if every guy, just for one day, did go through a period and pms? Would we react differently to situations just as Zack? Will this campaign connect more to men and allow men, in turn, to connect to what the women in their lives are going through? This campaign successfully bridges the “you’ll never understand” gap between men and women and for that, I think it’s genius and women will respond to it favorably.
Work by Leo Burnett/Chi-Town.
Blog Post By:
Josh Munsee, Creative Director