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Tampax "Are you sure I'll still be a virgin?" / "I hate pads - they're like wearing diapers." / "Are they hard to put in?"

This Tampax "girlfriends" campaign shows teenage girls having intimate discussions about their periods. In one, the girl asks "Are you sure I'll still be a virgin?", which I found quite ridiculous at the time. I did understand that I may not be the target market, as these ads were found in the likes of Seventeen magazine, and very young girls read that teenage mag. The fact that the virgin myth still had to be addressed in the late eighties and early nineties is wild. 

"Are you sure I'll still be a virgin?" Tampax ad 1989

In another version for this campaign, girlfriends are out having a snack together when one wonders how she can trust something so small. I mean, really? Who asked that question? It strikes me as an illogical one.

"Can I trust something so small?" - Tampax ad May 1989

The tone of most of these ads did not sit well with me in 1989. The teenagers - particularly in this first ad below -  looked too old for some of these chats. The fashion sense in the United States may have had a lot to do with it, but starting with the virgin question most of these questions seemed to come from a really ignorant place that I didn't recognize. Previous questions in earlier campaigns like "are you sure it doesn't hurt?" seemed normal to me, but the virgin myth appears in the body copy there as well. I don't know if research showed that this needed to still be addressed in the USA in 1989, that's plausible, but it did leave me - a seventeen-year-old in 1989 - disliking the brand.

"I hate pads - they're like wearing diapers."
"Are they hard to put in?"

Client : Tampax

Published in Seventeen magazine 1989

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