Luxury tampons. Only a man could have come up with that
I like a bit of luxury as much as the next person. A facial here, an upgrade there. God knows, I’d have more of it … if I could afford it.
But luxury tampons? Sorry, that’s just a teeny bit too far.
I spotted the ad last week. Gorgeous girl (mid-body shot only, no bloat evident). Looks like she never scoffs five burgers in a row or yells at her partner. Never gets PMT. And why would she? She’s using luxury tampons – presumably wrought from the pelt of a resting panda, tufts of angora rabbit and a tennis bracelet.
These tampons are so fancy, they’ve given themselves platinum status. It’s “a touch of luxury where you need it most”.
Pardon? The only difference I can see is well-designed box (pardon the pun) and a jazzy website with lots of helpful info. It’s time to get a grip. This is one product where practicality and convenience rules.
Sure, the Federal Government has been trying to convince us for years that the humble tampon is the equivalent of, say, a knuckle-dragging diamond. That’s why we still pay GST on them.
But you don’t see feminine hygiene products emblazoned with Chanel’s iconic double C. You don’t see tampon rip-offs at the markets in Hong Kong or Bangkok. I’m yet to have a conversation with a friend (male or female) that started with the words “Did you see X’s tampon? Geez, I wish I could afford one of those.”
And if luxury equals status, the very notion of the trumped-up tampon begs one question: Who would ever know you were using one? Nope, this is marketing gone mad. The final frontier in the push for posh.
And it goes hand-in-hand with a trend that says only the best will do – for everyone, always – because, no matter that we bludged all day at work or bitched about our mates or kicked the cat, we deserve it.
We told daily we’re worth it. We’ve bought into the idea that $500 shoes are a ‘must-have’. That labels are such desirable social currency that we’ll fake it rather than admit we can’t afford - or (gasp!) don’t deserve - the real thing.
The market for “replica” luxury bags is worth an estimated $12bn a year. Consumers buy counterfeits bags, belts, sunnies and suits by the truckload. The American Marketing Association says it’s because we need a bit more love: fakes help “gain approval in social settings”.
But no matter how magnificent the luxury tampon, I can’t see a market for counterfeits any time soon. And I despair that marketers think some women will be so dim as to be sucked in by a bit of premium branding on a product that is, in the end, a necessity.
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