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Mother Nature as brand strategy. Gender and creativity in Tampax advertising 2007-2009

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In 2007, Mother Nature saved Tampax. An advertising campaign, featuring nature personified as a middle-aged woman, played a decisive role in helping the tampon brand overcome a challenging period. Five years earlier, the owners, Procter & Gamble (P&G) had developed their own plastic, as opposed to cardboard, tampon applicator in the form of Tampax Pearl, and were promptly sued for patent infringement by the original plastic applicator inventor Playtex (Hanes Brands), a fight P&G lost. On other fronts, the menstrual product industry was battling against an aging population and menstruation-suppressing hormonal birth control, resulting in an annual 1 percent market share drop for the previously globally best-selling brand. A team of women at the Leo Burnett advertising agency came up with a new Tampax branding strategy in response, and as a result the international Mother Nature campaign ran in Europe and North America from 2007 till 2009. This article surveys the issues facing Tampax in the 2000s, and the campaign that stabilized it at the top of the sector by the 2010s.


Original languageEnglish
Number of pages40
JournalEnterprise & Society
VolumeFirst View
Early online date5 Feb 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Feb 2020

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