After 6 days, Always’ online branding campaign – #ThinkLikeAGirl – has more than 17,000,000 views. That’s impressive, especially for a product that historically lacks much PR value and has been limited, more or less, to bright and airy commercials of smiling women accompanied by illustrations of the product’s efficiency.
But Always wasn’t the first company to shake things up. In 2009, Kotex launched a subrand called U, which featured brightly-colored packaging designs that targeted, like Always’ current campaign, younger and future consumers.
Kotex U Packaging Design
While the move earned Kotex a healthy amount of attention, it certainly didn’t create the sensation that Always has.
The difference between the two is that Kotex didn’t reach consumers on an emotional level – only an aesthetic one – and aesthetic allegiances can change day by day, whereas an affinity toward a sense of empowerment – like the one created by Always – is likely to last in some shape or form forever.
Just before Always’ launched it online campaign, HelloFlo released one of their own. This branding campaign has also gone viral, earning HelloFlo almost 24,000,000 views since it was launched 2 weeks ago.
While this ad’s view count is presently higher than Always’ (keep in mind that it’s been out longer than Always’ video), I would argue that its impact will be shorter lived, since, like Kotex’s U, it thrives based on virtues of entertainment rather than emotive messaging. (This hunch is evidenced by the major media attention #LikeAGirl has received, including stories from FOX, ABC, FastCompany, Adage, InStyle, Time, and others…)
The moral of the Always #LikeAGirl story is that businesses shouldn’t try to sell products, they should sell a story – a set of values that their consumers can believe in and be inspired by.