Hail to the no.

Summer’s Eve has a new ad campaign out, and it’s epic. Sensational. It’s the 300 of feminine-hygiene product TV commercials. No more walks on the beach. Screw some flowy, white linen trousers. You are strong. You are powerful. You are the most powerful thing on earth, actually.

… What’s that? Oh, wait, sorry, no, that’s just your hoo-ha. Sorry about that.

(Transcript after the jump)

DRAMATIC FEMALE VOICEOVER. It’s the cradle of life. It’s the center of civilization. Over the ages, and throughout the world, men have fought for it. Battled for it. Even died for it. One might say it’s the most powerful thing on earth.

WOMAN LOOKING AT COOTER-CLEANER. Hmm.

PEPPY, CHEERFUL FEMALE VOICEOVER. So come on, ladies. Show it a little love. Cleansing wash and cloths from Summer’s Eve. Hail to the V.

No more frolicking freshly through fields of flowers, ladies. You’re too busy hiding behind a stand of bamboo while two men battle valiantly for access to your vajajay.

Says Summer’s Eve Director of U.S. Marketing Angela Bryant,

“The whole category has been talking to women the same way since feminine hygiene products have been in the marketplace, and ironically, many media outlets won’t even allow the use of the word vagina in advertising. … This campaign is about empowerment, changing the way women may think of the brand, and removing longstanding stigmas: Summer’s Eve is not a means to confidence, rather it’s a celebration of confidence, of being a woman, and taking care of their bodies.”

Because nothing is more empowering than reducing a woman to nothing but her vadge.

And the funny thing is, my vagina is not very powerful. She’s kind of soft, sensitive, and weepy, frankly. She’s never accomplished anything that I haven’t been there to help her with. And the last time I let her make a major decision for me, things did not end well.

Bryant says they’re changing the way the feminine-hygiene segment talks to women: Instead of seeing your cooch as something so foul and disgusting that it needs to be cleansed with a special product, you’re seeing your cooch as a precious and amazing prize that needs to be cleansed with a special product so it doesn’t return to its foul, disgusting nature. Our celebration of womanhood involves a product specifically designed to keep our bathing-suit area smelling like a field of lavender or a freshly made bed or anything other than a woman’s genitalia. And that celebration of womanhood ignores the woman completely, casting her O’Keefe not just in the starring role but as a solo act, wherein it starts wars and induces jousts and apparently reenacts that one scene from The Lion King completely unaided. (Although when you put it that way, it really does seem pretty impressive.)

AdRants calls the campaign–which includes print ads and a really discomfiting video featuring a talking cat in a tux–a “refreshingly twisted approach to the category and, in our opinion, a welcome one.” (I’m right with them on “twisted approach.”) The fact that is doesn’t include the words “not-so-fresh feeling” is sufficient to impress them. The fact that it doesn’t include the word “woman”–ever, anywhere, at any point–is sufficient to cheese me off, and I have to wonder if it’s what the women on Summer’s Eve’s “listening tour” had in mind.

It’s a question that one might pose to Bryant at, for instance, summerseve_cares [at] cbfleet [dot] com. Try to be respectful. If you’re not up to it, maybe let your hoohoodilly take care of it for you; I understand it’s eloquent and diplomatic and types at 90 words per minute.

It’s the cradle of life, people. It’s the center of civilization. Your ladyregion is… Mesopotamia.

(h/t Jezebel)

This entry was posted in Advertising, Feminism and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

43 Responses to Hail to the no.

  1. Jadey says:

    There are quite enough douches in the world, thanks.

    If my vagina is the cradle of civilization (and does admittedly host a few bacterial cultures, only a handful of which have actually been unwelcome), then the last thing I want to think about is cleansing it. I mean, is genocide the association they were going for?

  2. Xeginy says:

    Is my vagina smelling like vagina again? Damn it, and I just took a shower, too!

    Hmm, now what do I want to smell like today? Spring flowers, or lavender sunrise?

  3. Jadey says:

    Also, not that I’m surprised or anything given the product, society, etc., but vagina /= womanhood.

  4. I’ve been seeing references to this ad campaign all day long and until now, have resisted watching the commercial.

    Now I am… just… What is this fuckery?

    Why didn’t they just hire Beyonce to sing Run the World and be done?

    Ooh, that’s right, in Beyonce’s throw-back power-behind-the-throne retro-fantasy, women also earn money, a thing I’m sure that Summer’s Eve feels only the nastiest of vaginas engage in.

    I can see why they had to go with this instead.

  5. Kierra says:

    I still don’t get why anyone uses that stuff. Doesn’t pretty much every OB/GYN say that these things are unnecessary and tend to screw up your natural flora (hello, yeast infection!)? I mean it only took me 5 seconds on webmd to find articles claiming that douching can cause vaginal infections, pelvic inflammatory disease, pregnancy complications, increase risk of STDs, and cervical cancer. Seems to me like a pretty crappy thing to do to “the most powerful thing on earth.”

  6. Sarah says:

    All I can muster up to say here is “holy effbombs!” I … OK well from an advertising perspective, at least they’re taking a new approach. But still, douches are dumb. And the veiled references to the word vagina are infantile. And really now, I had NO idea that vaginas gave birth ALL BY THEMSELVES! And that it was the VAGINA that men were fighting over, not the mysterious, silent submissive women that were ATTACHED to the vagina. Figures.

  7. Lynnsey says:

    I’m impressed by the number of homonyms for vagina you came up with. Good work!

  8. Shinobi says:

    Wow, awesome historical scenes, battles, chicks in awesome outfits, this ad was almost cool. Except for that part where the only people actually doing anything in it were men.

  9. Stephanie says:

    Wow. Just wow. So proud to be a woman whose apparent greatest historical worth is that of a prize. And here I thought I could accomplish more, silly me.

  10. Echo Zen says:

    I’d have been more impressed if the advert had shown women fighting off government intrusion into their uteri. It might not have looked as cool, but at least the women actors wouldn’t have stood around awkwardly and not said anything.

  11. Mztress says:

    Oh, now I get it! As long as I douche and wash my hoo-hah with infection-causing, artificially-lavender-scented liquids men will fight valiantly for the right to conquer and possess it…and I can spend the interim behind a stand of trees or a veil, with my eyes cast demurely downward.

    And my prize for being such a good, wholesome, submissive lady? The chance to bear some man as many SONS as my poor, flower-scented vag can bear to squeeze out (because everyone knows that’s the way to get over the severe penis envy that all of us penis-less folks suffer from).

  12. tinfoil hattie says:

    Stop saying “hoo-ha.” The proper term is “The V,” or “down there.”

  13. tinfoil hattie says:

    P.S. “cooter cleaner” FTW! LOLLLLLL!!!

  14. Nahida says:

    LOL did everyone read the first comment?

    “If they are going to talk about men fighting for it – shouldn’t they show white men trying to rule it with legislation?”

    HAHAHA

  15. goosh says:

    OMG my vagina is like an action movie!

  16. Spilt Milk says:

    I gotta say, this is a pretty tough brief for the ad agency.

    “Sell our product, which is, in essence, completely misogynistic and relies on heteronormative, cissexist tropes to even exist, without, like, pissing off the feminists as much as our last campaign did. And make it fresh. No pun intended.”

    Yeah. Like that’s even possible.

    This product shouldn’t even exist. Of course the ads are terrible. If only they were terrible enough to make people stop buying the stuff enough to make it viable to keep making it. Sigh.

  17. Shaun says:

    Spilt Milk:
    I gotta say, this is a pretty tough brief for the ad agency.

    “Sell our product, which is, in essence, completely misogynistic and relies on heteronormative, cissexist tropes to even exist, without, like, pissing off the feminists as much as our last campaign did. And make it fresh. No pun intended.”

    Yeah. Like that’s even possible.

    This product shouldn’t even exist. Of course the ads are terrible. If only they were terrible enough to make people stop buying the stuff enough to make it viable to keep making it. Sigh.

    If only they’d expand into accessible contraceptives or even lavender body sprays or something and then drop the douching business. I don’t even understand how this marketing is still legal.

  18. Berryfresh says:

    Jadey:
    There are quite enough douches in the world, thanks.

    If my vagina is the cradle of civilization (and does admittedly host a few bacterial cultures, only a handful of which have actually been unwelcome), then the last thing I want to think about is cleansing it. I mean, is genocide the association they were going for?

    “If they are going to talk about men fighting for it – shouldn’t they show white men trying to rule it with legislation?”

    ROFL. This post and the subsequent comments made my day.

  19. 'stina says:

    I was subjected to this right before Harry Potter.

  20. Max says:

    tinfoil hattie: Stop saying “hoo-ha.” The proper term is “The V,” or “down there.”

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/renowned-hooha-doctor-wins-nobel-prize-for-medical,2692/

  21. Jadey says:

    Woooow, just in from Tami, it gets even worse.

  22. MonkeyShines says:

    In addition to the “Extended Cut” they have some superb racially related short films.

    http://gawker.com/5822698/black-vagina-wears-afro-mexican-vagina-says-ay+yi+yi-in-douche-ad

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  24. Emolee says:

    OMG. That was really offensive.

    I came away with the message: “Ladies, your ‘V’ is really important to the menz and for making babies. So, it is your responsibility to take care of it. It’s really a shame that it happens to be attached to YOU, because really it belongs to ‘civilization’/the men who ‘win’ it. So do your job and make sure it’s not smelly!”

  25. Stony says:

    Damn, I must have the world’s laziest snatch…it’s done NONE of these things. Not even a mild skirmish in a frat house. Clearly it is in dire need of special snizz cleansers.

  26. Echo Zen says:

    For once I’d like to see such reverential language for vaginas used to be push products that actually help vaginas (and their owners). Products like, oh, I don’t know… contraception, perhaps? “No, silly bear, American networks only advertise women’s products that address ‘health-related issues.’ Pregnancy isn’t considered a health issue, but a vagina that smells like a vagina is!”

  27. peggyluwho says:

    Have you seen there fabulous new website?

    The hand snatch freaks me out. Or is it a hand ax wound? Or hand cooz?

  28. peggyluwho says:

    Is this like when people tell me that Native Americans prefer to be called ‘Indians’?

  29. peggyluwho says:

    Aack….comment on the wrong thread. I failed the Internet!

  30. Paraxeni says:

    OK, true story time:

    When I was a kid I read a lot of books that were published decades ago. I also read a lot of American YA books, because at the time (mid-eighties, I was born in ’77) there didn’t seem to be any British books that appealed to me. Now, douches aren’t really a ‘thing’ here in the UK, and on seeing references to them in American books led me to I assume that douches had gone the way of liberty bodices and belted sanitary towels (my mother laughed when I asked her about the former, and I actually got a package of the latter in 1992 after the ‘LilLet Lady’ visited our school), and that they were just anachronisms.

    Zoooom forward in time to my arrival on the internet (1996), and colour me shocked! People actually still use these things? Noooo! So I Altavista’d around a bit, HotBotted some more, and did some Lycos-ing. Douches were real, honest-to-goodness things in modern-day America. “But” I thought “It cleans ITSELF! It said that in the ‘How We Grow Up’ book I got when I was 7. Why would you need to squirt stuff up there?”

    It still shocks me, it really does. It isn’t supposed to smell like ‘New Car’ or ‘Forest Glade’, it’s supposed to smell like a pussy, a chuff, a mimsy, a fanny, a tuppence, or a fairy.

  31. Dawn says:

    Sorry Layyyydeeees… I found this ad campaign BRILLIANT! It was fun, it was ironic, it was tongue in cheek (or where ever) but it was really damn good. Cleansing Wash and Cloths are NOT douches ya…well…DOUCHES!! . Yes. Cooches DO need a bit of refreshing now and again…as do armpits, butt cracks, feet, etc, etc. Are you SERIOUSLY telling me, you’d rather just soak in the sweat after kicking boxing? No. You wouldn’t. What does your soap smell like? What does your antiperspirant or deodorant smell like? Do you use that glide-y stuff when you run? How about foot powder or talc? Get OVER IT! Effin’ twats. Even MEN like to feel fresher after being all sweaty. I’d rather have something made specifically, than something that will tear the hell out of my vajayjay. Don’t get me wrong, I am NOT one to reach for the antibacterial hand cleanser and crap. I DO love the idea of the cloths, sometimes it’s just not feasible to grab a full shower or soap up your crotchitals with a washcloth…hmmm camping comes to mind as does…well…lots of other things.
    Get over your damn selves and figure out what the hell you’re bashing.
    I LOVE the fact that they talked about the power, because it is what it is.
    Love, Peace, Kisses, Hugs,
    KARMA Strongly Enforced,
    Smileluvah= }

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  33. chava says:

    So use a baby wipe.

    Dawn:
    Yes. Cooches DO need a bit of refreshing now and again…as do armpits, butt cracks, feet, etc, etc. Are you SERIOUSLY telling me, you’d rather just soak in the sweat after kicking boxing? No. You wouldn’t.What does your soap smell like? What does your antiperspirant or deodorant smell like? Do you use that glide-y stuff when you run? How about foot powder or talc?Get OVER IT! Effin’ twats. Even MEN like to feel fresher after being all sweaty. I’d rather have something made specifically, than something that will tear the hell out of my vajayjay. Don’t get me wrong, I am NOT one to reach for the antibacterial hand cleanser and crap. I DO love the idea of the cloths, sometimes it’s just not feasible to grab a full shower or soap up your crotchitals with a washcloth…hmmm camping comes to mind as does…well…lots of other things.

  34. Sheelzebub says:

    Yes. Cooches DO need a bit of refreshing now and again…as do armpits, butt cracks, feet, etc, etc.

    I’m gonna let you in on a newfangled invention that’s been quite the rage here for years: A SHOWER. A ten minute shower is the best way to combat that not-so-fresh feeling.

    Also, if your cootch is sweaty after something like kickboxing, the rest of you is, as well. Douching won’t help if the rest of you is sweaty.

  35. igglanova says:

    POWERRRRRRR DOUCHE

    when soap and water just aren’t enough

    • Jill says:

      POWERRRRRRR DOUCHE

      when soap and water just aren’t enough

      Otherwise known as “high-pressure hand-held shower head.”

  36. Sheelzebub says:

    That pulsing water action shows all kinds of reverence for my vag, igglanova. ;)

  37. Caperton says:

    Jill: Or just wash it in the shower? Seriously, no one is saying “don’t wash your crotch.”

    Um, that’s exactly what I was saying, actually. The only feminist thing to do is go commando under a short skirt and let the whole thing air out.

  38. chava says:

    Yah, but she seemed to be talking about circumstances where you couldn’t get a shower.

    Also, I am now a fan of the word cooter.

    Jill: Or just wash it in the shower? Seriously, no one is saying “don’t wash your crotch.”

  39. DouglasG says:

    [She’s never accomplished anything that I haven’t been there to help her with. And the last time I let her make a major decision for me, things did not end well.]

    This was great, although it did make me wonder (in the spirit of, “What’s the French for fiddle-de-dee?”) – what’s the Female for, “Use your other head”?

  40. Sheelzebub says:

    Yah, but she seemed to be talking about circumstances where you couldn’t get a shower.

    If I was doing something as active as kickboxing, a douche wouldn’t chase away that not-so-fresh feeling, lol. If I’m “soak[ing] in sweat” I need a shower, not a vaginal douche!

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