Brand: Always Clean Panty Liners (Procter & Gamble)
Execution: TV, Print
Link: Click Here
A straightforward product introduction shot for a feminine menstrual protection product with an attached pre-moistened wipe. The spot opens with a shot of the panty liner inside the familiar folded paper outer wrap moving towards a small package that looks like it might contain a wet wipe. The female voiceover says, “”Introducing the first and only liner pads to come attached with individually-wrapped wipes. New Always Clean. Now you can feel shower clean without the shower. Have a happy period. Always.” In the middle of the spot, the small package tears itself and the animated wipe peeks out. When the line about feeling ‘shower clean’ begins, a shower rains on the package which rotates slowly like a shower faucet being turned on or off. At the end of the spot, the tagline “Have a happy period. Always,” shows at the bottom of the screen.
As we would expect of a Procter & Gamble spot executed by Leo Burnett, this commercial is clear and easy to follow with excellent branding. Unlike many product improvements in this category, this one makes obvious and intuitive sense and the visuals make the wipes look appealing and easy to access. The improvement takes off on the success of the adult personal wipes category which grew out of research showing that a measurable percentage of baby wipe sales were to adults using them for their own intimate hygienic needs. The product-as-hero execution of this spot has the product and the brand front and center for virtually the entire spot. Also unlike many of the spots in this category, the advertising is overly fussy or sentimental and does not patronize or talk down to women (with one exception discussed below). Although it presents a purely functional sales pitch, this spot accomplishes what it sets out to do.
We were impressed with this spot until the end. When we heard P&G’s new tagline for Always, however, we had the unmistakeable sense that P&G and Leo Burnett had finally fallen into the trap of much of the advertising in this category. It tells some women something they will not believe and will find insulting with the tagline “Have a Happy Period.”
This advertising blog knows that P&G will say that this line is meant to empower women, to let them feel that their menstrual cycle is a positive affirmation of their reproductive power rather than an unpleasant experience. And we recognize that different women have different attitudes towards their reproductive health. Research shows that some women will significantly deviate from their normal activities during their period, often avoiding social engagements. On the other side of the spectrum there are women who make few if any concessions to their period and do not limit their activities or change their attitute when they are menstruating. Of course there are also numerous shades of gray in between. Marketers have done a good job of pegging attitudes to different sanitary protection products and modifying their advertising accordingly.
The tagline, “Have a Happy Period,” will appeal most to tampon users (if it appeals to anyone). They are the most likely to keep their routine unchanged and to regard their period as something positive and healthy.
The problem is that this tagline seems to attach itself to the entire Always brand (which encompasses all the different types of women). It doesn’t work with all of the products within the brand and particularly not this particular line extension. Panty liners are tricky because they are used by multiple psychographic segments within the sanpro category. Many women use them between periods to guard against ‘spotting’ or unexpected menstrual bleeding. But they are also used by tampon wearers during the period as an additional level of protection for nice underwear.
The innovation here – putting a hand-wipe on the liner – will be interesting to many women but most interesting to those who are more concerned about leakage and more embarrassed by odor or feeling unclean. Those are the same women who may be most offended by the new tagline which seems to argue with their underlying beliefs about menstruation.
So in spite of an excellent line extension, a straightforward advertising concept and a good execution, we believe that Always fails to connect with this spot.
Branding Bottom Line:
We’ve just joined Always in telling half of the population more than they wanted to know.