have you seen that commercial for…?

A hot topic in the media at the moment is a commercial that questions the phrase ‘like a girl’ and has sparked a debate of global interest. 
The feminine hygiene company makes a point of exploring why this phrase has become an insult and how it affects the self-confidence of girls, particularly at puberty when they are most vulnerable. You may be wondering what this has to do with our industry...

Whilst producing a commercial that has gone viral to the tune of almost 28 million views, provoked a social debate and possibly helped to empower women all over the world, I would still question whether it will successfully fulfil its primary purpose: to sell more of a particular product.

At the end of the day, companies pay ad agencies loads of money to sell more of their stuff. Since we’re in the business of advertising, whenever a new exciting ad pops up, we inevitably end up talking about it. Among all of us here who saw the ad, only one of us correctly named the company who it was for - and that was a guess at best. How many people who have watched and been touched by the commercial are failing to remember the brand of towel it was actually for?

I’m a woman, I’m on Facebook, and I’ve seen the reaction to this video. It’s obviously thought provoking, beautifully executed and has everyone talking but will it make people buy this brand’s tampons next time they’re in the supermarket? If they are anything like me they’ll buy whatever brand has the best deal at the time. 

Whatever business you’re in, your ads should give people a reason to buy your products instead of your competitors. It could be quality, performance or price… but it needs to be something. But first of all, the customer needs to remember who you are.

There is the argument that massive exposure (likes, views, shares etc) will automatically lead to an uplift in sales. Despite me watching it, this commercial did not change my opinion of the tampons or towels they’re peddling. There were no product benefits; there was no unique selling point to put this brand before competitor brands. So will it make me buy their product over another brand? Nope.

But hey, it was a nice commercial.