Kotex Takes a Risk on a Hip Brand Makeover

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Many promotional ideas and online brand engagement fail to catch on for a myriad of reasons. But every now and then, promotions are so unique they beg to be written about, discussed and dissected. The latest contest from Kotex is one of those ideas.

The maker of sanitary pads and napkins made the news this week for teaming up with redheaded dynamo stylist Patricia Field. Field, long a New York fashion scene staple, first gained national recognition for her wardrobe styling of the cast of Sex and the City. Since then, Field’s name has become synonymous with gutsy, think-outside-the-box fashion.

So it’s hard not to go “hmmm” when you think about the pairing of the 69-year-old Field and Kotex, a brand that is looking to appeal to younger consumers. Certainly the partnership is one of a kind. Kotex has set up a site entitled BandtheBland.com where designer hopefuls look to reinvent the standard white maxi pad. On the site in a promotional video, Field encourages contestants to go wild with colors patterns and even glitter. Kotex is also looking for a winning design of a special tin which will carry the stylish pads. Winners will have their designs produced and will attend Fashion Week in New York City this September. Kotex is hoping that Field, along with new “punk/glam” designed tampons, will help the brand separate itself from the old school hygiene product image.

“Young women have design choices to express themselves in all aspects of their lives from fashion to the color of their cell phone. So why do they still have to settle for the boring and institutional look of feminine care?” public relations rep Marissa Festante said in an interview with the New York Daily News.

While the concept technically is no different than the teddy bears added to your paper towels or the flowers on your toilet paper, Kotex is taking a risk by giving a well-known but rarely discussed product such a hip makeover. Time will tell if the brand’s bit of edgy and creative engagement will pay off.

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