Save Your Girls from Max le Tampax

It seems that Proctor & Gamble, the marketing behemoth that owns so many of the consumer brands on our shelves, has  launched an ad campaign in France for young girls age 13 – 17 who may have reservations about using tampons.

They’ve introduced a singing, talking tampon named “Max le Tampax” who offers advice to young girls first getting their periods. The idea is that the girls may be uncomfortable with this change in their bodies, so they can friend this tampon – apparently a grown male dressed in costume – for credible advice. Oh, and he has a whole group of singing friends.

I wish I were kidding. No, this is not a Saturday Night Live skit.

This has to be the most bizarre concept ever for engaging with an audience. I thought ”pledge to your behind” by Cottonelle (not a  P&G brand) was pretty lame, but this is much worse. Remember when every marketing major’s dream was to be a brand manager for Proctor & Gamble? The cachet is gone, I’m afraid. I’ll be stunned if I learn a woman was behind this ridiculous concept.

I get that Max is for a young crowd and is supposed to be quirky humor. Also, this if France, a country that regarded Jerry Lewis as a comedic auteur. But doesn’t this seem a bit disconcerting and freakish to you? Would our daughters ever really accept advice – or even seek entertainment – from a talking tampon?

Moms, talk to your daughters. Make sure they are getting information about their bodies from you and other trusted sources, not a mega brand with a spokesman that is even goofier than some of their male peers.

Note: A good resource is My Little Red Book by Rachel Kauder Nailbuff. It’s an anthology of stories from women around the world about their first periods (did anyone prepare you for it?). The proceeds from the book are being donated to charities promoting women’s health and education. Take that, Max!