Summer camp is a classic setting for coming-of-age adolescent adventures: the first unattainable crush on that dreamy Zinc-nosed counselor, the first meaningful bonding that only a shared canoe experience can bring and, for many young female campers, their first period.
The new feminine product delivery service Hello Flo released the video above that has som fun with the “first-period-at-camp” trope. The 1:47 video, which AdWeek named “ad of the day,” stars a former loner camper turned powerfully popular after becoming the first girl at camp to get her period — or the “red patch of courage” as she calls it. Her newfound authority as the militant “Camp Gyno” gets to her head propelling her to divvy out tampons amongst newly menstruating campers like they were cigarettes circulating through jail; she barks at a young cramp sufferer to “suck it up and deal with it; this is your life now.” Though she touts herself as a Joan of Arc among campers, the Camp Gyno can’t compete with Hello Flo’s menstrual supply shipment service timed perfectly with the girls’ cycles. (Indeed, for $16 you get enough regular tampons for a 4-5 day medium flow, a handful of pads, Pantiliners and treats!)
The video has already accrued close to 80,000 views and is generating a generally positive response. The Huffington Post called it “The Best Tampon Ad in the History of the World” and applauded the video for adopting a realistic look into menstruation — a rarity, it says, in the cannon of ads for feminine hygiene products:
Now we all know that historically, ads for tampons and panty liners have, shall we say, skirted the down and dirty realities of menstruation. I mean, how many of us have seen a tampon ad featuring a woman wearing white pants and decided to put that kind of ill-placed faith in a “feminine hygiene” product? Here’s my guess: zero, thank goodness. And while the ubiquitous “blue liquid” ads at least weren’t as insulting as the “Are You Sure I’ll Still Be a Virgin?” Tampax ads that seemed to run in every issue of Seventeen magazine for my entire adolescence, they were so off-target as to cause confusion
It’s 2013. Way past time we had some funny, delightful ads about tampons in general and the vagaries of impending womanhood in particular.