“How do I feel about my period? I love it!”
That's the opening line from Kotex's 2010 "So Obnoxious" ad, which you might remember. The satirical (and frankly, brilliant) ad features "a believably attractive 18- to 24-year-old female" who's relatable because, "I’m racially ambiguous," she explains. "Market research shows that girls like you love girls like me.”
The Kotex pads being advertised may not have flown off the shelves, but the commercial itself was a viral success, even prompting a New York Times article. The reason it struck a nerve? It called out the absurdities of literally years of period product advertisements. Finally, someone was mocking the usual lineup of ads for tampons, maxi pads, and anything else period-related.
The 2010 Kotex ad was the start of a welcome sea change in how period products are marketed, one that lead us to a new era in which these ads got so real it caused a (silly) controversy.
To look back at how far we've come, we rounded up some of the weirdest and most ridiculous vintage period ads. They probably won't make you want to buy tampons, but they will give you a good laugh.