The feminine care category is a sea of sameness: blue liquid demos and women in white pants telling you to have a happy period. To grow sales and share, U by Kotex needed to stand out by establishing a strong relationship with its consumer by launching a new campaign.
In trying to understand the target, Millennials and Gen Z, we discovered that periods are associated with a strong stigma: Women, apparently, are crazy, irrational bitches on their periods.
Interestingly, we noticed that our target was at the forefront of a sort of resistance against periods and this stigma. An artist posted a photo of herself with a period stain on Instagram, a runner ran a marathon without any pads while on her period, a singer, whose pad fell out on live TV, took down those shaming her online.
By tackling a tension that young women had already started to take on, U by Kotex could set itself apart, supporting women and ensuring that periods or negative perceptions of them never stood in her way.
U by Kotex launched “It’s me. It’s not my period” to communicate that whenever a woman expresses herself in a strong and emotive way, it’s a sign of her personality, not her period. With such a powerful message to convey, standard category advertising would not hold up. Instead, the brand opted for a radically different approach.
#itsnotmyperiod was launched with a social experiment. We asked men and women to identify who was on her period based on a heated exchange between co-workers. Naturally the woman who lost her temper was identified as the culprit forcing our audience to come face to face with their own period misconceptions.
The social experiment launched online and was followed up with the brand’s manifesto video: Periods don’t define women, women do. Online and social ads galvanized women to refuse to let people tell her who she is or how she should behave by inviting them to share their own experiences with period stigma.