Finally! Tampon Advertising Isn't Just for Women Anymore
Obviously, tampons aren't gendered, but there's a general assumption about who uses them, and you can gauge that by 1) which bathrooms they appear in, and 2) the tone and appearance of their packaging and marketing. But it isn't just women who menstruate; trans men and non-binary people can also get the bleed. Aren't they, too, entitled to some representation on a promotional stand, and fun assumptions about which colors will attract their eye?
Of course they are. Ironically, this reductive tendency—related to a desire for effective targeting, natch—could actually be helpful as representation of diverse gender identities gains traction in mainstream space.
The idea stems from a data point: 93 percent of transgender men have experienced dysphoria in direct relation to menstruation. "When I was young, menstruation felt not only strange but somehow wrong," says Dakota Robin, who serves as the agency's DEI consultant as well as the face of the campaign. "Our culture does not really acknowledge the diversity of menstruating individuals."
Robin goes on to call this "a step in the right direction. By changing attitudes and broadening perspectives, we can also remove discrimination against gender minorities."
For now, the Tampon for Men is a limited-edition offering in Finland, but wider distribution will begin in 2024. In this year's initial iteration, sales will be donated to Trasek ry, an organization dedicated to sexual health and gender diversity. Vuokkoset is also considering a gender-neutral tampon product. (Maybe à la O.B.? It's hard to get more generic than O.B. Organic, unless you're just tossing tampons into a blank carton.)
“Marketing has a huge role in shaping the world around us. As Finland’s leading creative agency and the leading global agency collective, we have an immense responsibility in actively making the world more inclusive," says Heidi Taina, creative director at TBWA\Helsinki. "Vuokkoset is a brand that shares this value base and was brave enough to put the campaign together with us in just four short weeks.”
The tampons were created by Delipap Oy, a family-owned company that is apparently also Finland's only manufacturer of disposable menstrual products. See more pretty pics below.
Delipap Oy (manufactures Vuokkoset products)
Senja Blomqvist, Brand Manager
Tomi Sirén, Growth Director
Alex Pineda, Chief Creative Officer
Paula Sonne, Earned Creative Director, Eleven
Heidi Taina, Creative Director
Mikael Kivelä, Head of Design
Iikka Maunumaa, Senior Business Director
Rosa Kojonkoski, Account Manager
Mikko Roininen, Art Director
Heikki Karstu, Junior Copywriter
Emma Pettersson, Junior Planner & Comms
Max Naumanen, Junior Digital Designer
Taneli Lahtinen, Creative Content / Photographer