As a cat lover working in the advertising world, marketing campaigns featuring cats always pique my interest but as a cat loving woman in advertising the recent “That’s Vaginal” campaign from the folks over at Abbott Laboratories was of particular interest.
“That’s Vaginal” is a viral campaign for Summers Eve feminine wash (douche) complete with a wealthy spokespussy, Carlton, talking about well…vaginas.
“Why is the vagina treated like some sort of leper?” asks Carlton. “Avoided publicly, snickered at privately. It’s synonyms and euphemism all slurs – some even doubly offensive to us felines…”
In an effort to start “the movement to place one incredible word in its rightful place of superiority over all other words,” he suggests we use the phrase “vaginal” in place of “awesome” upon encountering a thing of beauty and/or greatness.
As a marketer I understand the rational behind the campaign. To sell more douche you have to tap into the younger audience. Before you can sell them a douche you have to get them thinking about – let alone talking about – the part of their body upon which they will use said douche (in a way other than overtly sexual that is).
Do I agree with their selection of a wealthy male puppet cat – whose voice bears a striking resemblence to that of Jon Hamm – as vagina “champion”? I’m not so sure. And if the cat is so offended by the use of the word “pussy” to describe something as primally awesome as the vagina why not then coin the phrase “that’s pussytastic” or “that’s pussyrific” instead?
Wether or not you think the campaign has raised the bar or sunk to a new low, as a cat owner and lover I think they’ve done a wonder job capturing the feline attitude. Just read how he speaks of his human butler Geoffrey:
“Many of you have shown an unsettling interest in my butler. I’m afraid I won’t be able to answer many of your questions…To be honest, “Geoffrey” is just an arbitrary name – I call all 33 of my staff “Geoffrey.” Partly to amuse myself, and partly out of reluctant necessity…wherein it is somehow seen as humane to know the names of your butle-men. For those times, “Geoffrey” suffices.”
In my opinion the out-takes are the funniest bits.
What do you guys – as consumers, marketers, cat-lovers, feminists, fathers, woman, men – think of this campaign? I wanna hear!