Spoiler alert: That monthly time for women, long depicted by feminine hygiene companies as a glorious period -- so to speak -- of skydiving, dancing and smiles galore, is really nothing like that at all.
This is relevant because Richard Neill, a man, recently reached this conclusion on his own after years of having “felt a little jealous” of women. Mightily displeased, Neill went on British company Bodyform’s Facebook profile and voiced his disillusionment in a ranting post that has since gone viral.
“As a child I watched your advertisements with interest as to how at this wonderful time of the month that the female gets to enjoy so many things,” he wrote. “Then I got a girlfriend, was so happy and couldn't wait for this joyous adventurous time of the month to happen .... you lied!! There was no joy, no extreme sports, no blue water spilling over wings and no rocking soundtrack oh no no no.”
But here’s the best part: Instead of shunning the social media screed, Bodyform saw a red-hot advertising opportunity.
First, let’s face it: Marketing products for an event that some still associate with “Carrie” has to be a delicate undertaking. Most companies have tried to put as positive and elegant a spin on the subject as possible.
But recently, brands have gotten bolder, ditched the euphemisms. Kotex launched a “Break The Cycle” ad campaign in which it issued an “apology” for all the uber-cheery tampon ads that came before.
Bodyform decided to follow that tack, posting a tongue-in-cheek video addressing Neill’s concerns. The (fake) chief executive in the video, sipping a glass of blue liquid, declares that “it’s time we came clean,” before apologizing. See the full video below.
“I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this,” the actress says in a soothing voice, “but there’s no such thing as a happy period.”
So far, some 174,000 people have viewed the video on YouTube. Nearly 4,000 Facebook users have liked it.
“What a riot!” one commentator wrote. “Wouldn't it be nice if more companies had a sense of humor instead of being so stiff-necked?”
“Sheer social marketing brilliance,” wrote another.
“At last!!! Truth in advertising!!!” opined a third.
And, for the record, one Facebook user wrote: “I would like to add the fact that men in general are just as bad, and that the adverts portraying you males as sensitive, caring James Bond types are also a lie.”