The Lowdown is Ad Age's weekly look at news nuggets from across the world of marketing, including trends, campaign tidbits, executive comings and goings and more.
Naama Bloom has made taboo subjects funny with videos about girls and menstruation to sell period starter kits as founder of HelloFlo. Now, as part of SheKnows, she's turned to something maybe even more uncomfortable, creating a sort of vagina dialogue in a "Sex and the City" spoof for Combe's Vagisil.
"For us it was a combination of the prolific media reach that they have, an ability for them to say things we might not be able to say on national TV, and the fact that they get what we're trying to do," said Combe co-CEO Keech Combe Shetty, who came to the family business after working as a marketer at Estee Lauder. Combe has spent more than $10 million on TV the past year, per iSpot.tv, but there's plenty the brand just can't say there, Ms. Combe said. "A lot of it is trying to normalize the conversation around vaginal health and intimate dryness." Hence, a conversation among four women in the desert about a "dehydrated vagina." The 120-second-plus video for Vagisil Prohydrate Natural Feel makes the case for an anti-aging regimen for "intimate skin," sort of combining the benefits of Olay and a daily Cialis for women. "Like every part of your body, skin ages, it gets older," says one of the cartoon women.
Shifting to self-regulatory news: Kimberly-Clark Corp., marketer of Scott and Viva, has won one for the paper towel industry in a challenge before the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus over Dyson's "Paper Towels Aren't as Clean as You Think," video. K-C took issue with claims in the video and on Dyson.com that paper towels have "a dirty secret," which includes a significant percentage of them in public restrooms being contaminated with pathogenic bacteria. This was part of Dyson's case for its Airblade forced-air hand dryers. The NAD said nothing in its decision precludes Dyson talking about benefits of its technology, provided it doesn't communicate superiority to drying hands with paper towels. Dyson, in its statement, said it took issue with the NAD decision, but would comply. As of Wednesday, a version of the video could still be found on YouTube, but the page making claims about paper towels had been removed from Dyson.com. This is the second favorable NAD ruling in as many weeks for K-C taking on marketers disparaging entire industries with their ads, after a ruling earlier this month that led Honest Co. to end attacks on the safety of other marketers' diapers and wipes.
Some sad news to report from the fast food beat: The man who created the Big Mac has died. Michael "Jim" Delligatti passed away on Monday at the age of 98. As a McDonald's franchisee, Mr. Delligatti introduced the Big Mac in his Uniontown, Penn. restaurant in 1967. The sandwich -- two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions on a sesame-seed bun -- became a core item on McDonald's menu and has gone on to be served in more than 100 countries. According to a family obituary shared by McDonald's, Mr. Delligatti also developed the Hotcakes and Sausage meal "to feed hungry steel workers on their way home from overnight shifts in the mills."