It’s ironic that Procter and Gamble’s announcement last month of a
planned dollars 2 billion acquisition of Tambrands should have coincided
with a first in advertising terms for the sanitary protection group. For
the first time, it rolled out a dollars 60 million global Tampax
campaign that took a frank look at women’s specific concerns about
tampons in widely different parts of the world while, at the same time,
uniting the brand under one theme: ’Tampax. Women know.’
’You want me to put that where?’ American ads designed to encourage
first-time users asked, while commercials running in countries where
tampons are not the norm were far less direct but much more informative.
These had to address much broader worries, and answered such questions
as: Will tampons hurt me? Will they be reliable? Will tampons take away
To cope with the sheer variety of different issues around the world,
Tambrands and its agency, Foote Cone and Belding New York, arranged the
27 countries which would eventually be targeted by the campaign into
three broad clusters based on consumers’ knowledge and experience of
Group one contained mature markets such as the UK, US and Australia;
group two, markets like Spain and Italy, which know about tampons but
still have room for development; and a third group - including China and
Brazil - which know very little about the product.
All commercials show a series of intimate, real-woman-style
testimonials, but in each area they talk about different subjects, each
in a very different way. In the US, for instance, where 70 per cent of
women use tampons but only 25 per cent use them at night, ads remind
women that eight out of ten gynaecologists say that women can wear
tampons for up to eight hours overnight. In contrast, Chinese
commercials go so far as to feature an animated demonstration, in the
top right hand corner of the screen, on how to to use the product. In
the UK, where comfort is more of an issue, Tambrands promoted its newly
launched Satin range, which features a smooth applicator and a rounded
FCB used traditional focus groups, as well as its trademark Mind and
Mood method, which surveys consumers less formally in their own
environments, to evaluate whether the ’real woman’ approach would be
effective around the world.
The creative team, led by the senior vice-president and group creative
director, Nanette Koryn, worked closely with local agencies around the
world to develop the campaign.
Ads were shot in South Africa and Spain and most only used women from
the country where the ads would air.
However, despite this huge effort, Madison Avenue executives are betting
that FCB won’t survive the sale of Tambrands to its new owner, P&G.
DMB&B New York handles P&G’s sanitary towel brands, Always (the US
leader) and Whisper, and P&G is known to be very loyal to its roster
agencies. All the same, FCB continues to mastermind the global push. ’As
far as we’re concerned, it’s business as usual,’ say FCB executives.
’The client is thrilled with the campaign.’