Farai sanitary pads

Date: January 1, 1970
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The clip features a male customer and a female salesperson. The man enters the shop and fidgets, failing to state exactly what he wanted. The lady salesperson asks the man what he wants and he beats about the bush saying he wanted “something comfortableÀ for his partner. When he is about to leave the shop, the salesperson tells him to wait, as she now knew what exactly he wanted: sanitary wear. She then suggests he buys Farai sanitary pads, which she describes as the best. The man buys them and leaves the shop relieved.

This advertisement may be used to:
1. Raise discussions about how products related to women’s reproductive health are seen as taboo and embarrassing for men.
2. Raise discussion about how subtle changes in advertising strategy can be sucessful.
Trainer’s notes
In the Mirror on the Media Advertising research conducted by GL male and female groups had mixed responses to the advert. Women felt that it did not appeal to them and made them feel they should be ashamed while men did not see the point of having a man in the advert. While the advert tries to challenge stereotypes by having a man buy a clearly female product, his embarrassment reinforces the stereotype that it’s taboo for a man to buy sanitary pads for his wife. Had the man gone in confidently and openly stated what he wanted this would have had the audiences sitting up!
Discussion Questions
1. As stated above, neither gender thought this was a good advert. Discuss how advertisers need to understand their target market better.
2. Do participants feel uncomfortable about making certain kinds of purchases ?
Training exercises
1. Ask participants to role play women going to a shop to buy typically men’s products, like condoms, and men going to buy condoms. Act out these scenes in two ways: a typical and atypical way. How does the audience respond in each instance? What does this suggest about adverts that a) reinforce or b) challenge stereotypes.
2. Have participanst go into shops to ask clerks for help with products tradionally for the opposite gender/ How are the treated ? How do they feel ? How has culture and society shaped those responses ?

2 thoughts on “Farai sanitary pads”

nhlafrica says:

I was the guy in the ad. When we did that ad, the idea was so ridiculous that the creative director jumped on it. I am glad that after all the sniggering I experienced(for the 1st week it flighted),it is being used positively. The Farai delivery vans still have my wife and myself on it.

Elna Kundishora says:

Dear Sir/Madam,

My name is Elna Kundishora. I am part of Help the Girl Child. In collaboration with Inflame the Dream, we shall be having a menstrual hygiene awareness day on the 28 May; which is Menstrual Hygiene Day. We are currently collecting sanitary pads and panties to donate to 2 schools – Musanhi Secondary School (Uzumba) and Samaringa Secondary School (Mutare). That being said, we are kindly asking for a donation and/or sanitary pads at a discount.

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