By Christine Dunn published March 9, 2012

Kotex Uses Stand-Up Comedy in New Content Campaign

Kotex, the feminine care brand of Kimberly-Clark Corp., has implemented an extensive content marketing strategy to get young women to “Stand Up for What’s Real,” encouraging its community to not only engage on the company’s website, but to voice opinions in social forums orchestrated on FacebookTwitterTumblr, PinterestGoogle+ and YouTube.

The campaign, mainly targeted at young women between the ages of 14 and 24, seeks to help women feel unashamed to talk about a topic that is typically taboo.  Kotex uses educational content, mixed with videos of female stand-up comedians taking aim at traditional tampon commercials.

In addition to the basic rundown on Kotex products, the new site has articles on each stage of a woman’s development, offers tips for moms to talk to their daughters about their bodies, helps women understand their pre- and post-pregnancy cycles, and introduces issues surrounding menopause.

The website’s Community tab starts to funnel users to forums and blogs where Kotex’s “Community Manager” helps curate, engage and promote conversations.

“We knew the bulk of these conversations were going to take place in the social space (where our target normally engages with friends), so we drove all digital and traditional media executions to either Facebook or Twitter,” Director, Integrated Marketing Planning, Adult & Feminine Care Brands for Kimberly-Clark, Melissa Sexton, wrote to CMI News in response to questions in an email. “Our Conversation Manager drives dialogue, using stereotypical category ads to underscore insane claims bolstered by the competition. The beauty of a socially driven world is that the community feeds itself, uncovering topics and helping drive the discussion.”

Breaking Down the Stigma

Kotex said that it chose to build a community so that girls could learn about their bodies in an environment where they don’t feel judged or ashamed about their feminine-care needs, and so that they can receive accurate information.

The biggest challenge, Kotex said, has been to motivate an open conversation on a topic that has traditionally carried a big social stigma. “Once you break through that barrier, we’ve found that girls are more apt to comment and share their stories,” Kotex said.

Kotex reinforced its content marketing approach with a series of advertising spots that feature female comedians who use humor to comment on the “absurdity” of stereotypes in feminine care. The three spots feature the comics pointing out clichés or claims that have been made about feminine care, and turning them into entertainment. In making fun of the stereotypes, Kotex hopes the ads help communicate its brand message about the “realness” and “straight talk” of its Natural Balance line of hygiene products.

The ad campaign, which also feature print and online components, is set to run through 2012, Kotex said. Over the coming year, Kotex said it will build on its current content marketing platform, which will also include mobile initiatives.

Author: Christine Dunn

Christine Dunn has almost two decades of experience writing about finance and business issues. As founder and president of Savoir Media, she works with companies and executives on developing strategic, integrated media and marketing programs. Prior to starting her award-winning company, she worked at Bloomberg News, where she served as Boston Bureau Chief and ran industry coverage for several national teams of reporters, including consumer/retail, mutual funds and education. She also authors "Dollar for Dollar," the personal finance blog on The Boston Globe's website. Follow her on Facebook or on Twitter @ChristineODunn.

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