The idea was U by Kotex, a premium-priced line aimed at younger
women, featuring black packages holding products in a rainbow of
wrappers, designed by CBX, New York. Backing the launch were
irreverent and unconventional TV and online ads from WPP's JWT and Omnicom's Organic, both New York,
that poked fun at the long heritage of category ads featuring
cheerful women frolicking in white slacks, followed by the
inevitable blue-fluid product demos.
In a "Break the Cycle" campaign online, viral videos showed men
approached on the street and asked to buy tampons; a guy in a
supermarket fem-care aisle asking women and men for help selecting
a product for his girlfriend; and a highly suggestive inkblot test.
Kotex also developed an instructional video on how to use a tampon.
It all aimed to shift the hushed conversation toward "vagina
Andrew Meurer -- who recently left his post as VP-feminine and
adult care for personal reasons -- and Organic CEO Marita Scarfi
also got attendees at a Cannes seminar on U to shout "vagina" to
break the ice on the topic.
Results have been phenomenal since the April launch. Kotex's
share was up 2.2 points in sanitary pads and 5.2 points in tampons
in the third quarter on sales increases of 13% and 57%
respectively, according to SymphonyIRI data from Deutsche Bank.
Data including unmeasured outlets such as Walmart and club stores
have been better still, Mr. Meurer said.
Online efforts helped produce more than 1.2 million sample
requests and more than 600,000 other brand/consumer interactions
The launch has won young consumers in a category where that has
a big lifetime value. Loyalty to feminine-protection brands is
higher than almost any other category in packaged goods, said Mr.