Here’s another really crazy marketing decision. The brand managers at Always maxi pads decided to send a little message to women when they tear off the adhesive backing of the pad: “Have a Happy Period.”
A happy period? Do you know any woman who has ever had a happy period? Don’t you test out these ideas with consumers?
Wendi Aarons posted a hilarious, frank open letter to James Thatcher, the Always brand manager. She starts out complimenting Thatcher for some of the great features in Always over the years and then gets down to business:
“As brand manager in the feminine-hygiene division, you’ve no doubt seen quite a bit of research on what exactly happens during your customers’ monthly visits from Aunt Flo. Therefore, you must know about the bloating, puffiness, and cramping we endure, and about our intense mood swings, crying jags, and out-of-control behavior.
“Last month, while in the throes of cramping so painful I wanted to reach inside my body and yank out my uterus, I opened an Always maxi pad, and there, printed on the adhesive backing, were these words: “Have a Happy Period.”
“Are you f******g kidding me? What I mean is, does any part of your tiny middle-manager brain really think happiness—actual smiling, laughing happiness—is possible during a menstrual period? Did anything mentioned above sound the least bit pleasurable?
“For the love of God, pull your head out, man. If you just have to slap a moronic message on a maxi pad, wouldn’t it make more sense to say something that’s actually pertinent, like “Put Down the Hammer” or “Vehicular Manslaughter Is Wrong”? Or are you just picking on us?”
If you go to Technorati there are 918 raving blog posts about “Have a Happy Period.” I still haven’t been able to find any response from P&G. Bad decisions happen. The best strategy for companies is quickly acknowledging mistakes and telling people how they’re going to fix them. Always.