o.b. tampons is really (really) sorry

It’s been a year, but o.b. tampons is reaching out to thousands of women who were left high & dry when their favourite tampons were abruptly pulled from the shelves. Yes, it’s true – this time last year, there was a tampon-induced uproar in Canada.

o.b. website (Canada)

In September 2010, o.b. tampons began going missing from the shelves. At first, it was only extra-absorbent o.b. Ultra, but soon women were turning to hoarding as all varieties of o.b. tampons began to disappear. In a show of true brand loyalty, the women who rely on the applicator-free o.b. tampons each month began to turn on the brand…and its representatives.

Meanwhile, an online petition threatens the company with a “girlcott” should it fail to bring back the Ultra. “I wish they all start menstruating profusely, men and women alike who were involved in the decision,” writes one woman. “Karma, hear me!” – Maclean’s 

While the brand was initially cagey about where the tampons had gone and when, if ever, they’d be back (they started returning to the shelves in the spring), they’ve finally begun to make amends with their customers…and they’ve done it in a song.

At http://obtampons.ca/apology, a hunky, Irish-looking guy sits down at a white piano in a meadow to apologize profusely for the missing hygiene products. The best part? It’s completely personal.

Without giving away too many secrets (you really do need to watch this video for yourself), here’s how it worked:

Step 1: Hunky guy

The hunky guy and catchy tune draw you in …

Step 2: personalized petals in the sand

Rose petals in the sand? Spelling out my name? Tell me more…

Step 3: Tattoo

Tattoos – the ultimate sacrifice. You know they mean it when…

Step 4: they're really really sorry

Say it with a card…

Step 5: coupon!

…seal the deal with a coupon! (and doves…and a triple rainbow)

There you have it. It may have taken a year, but this was a great PR move on o.b.’s part. It’s no secret that personalized, slightly gimmicky videos tend to grow legs online. The video is inherently shareable and the coupon draws (Canadian) users of the product back into the stores. For those who don’t use it, the coupon is an incentive to see what all the buzz is about without the financial commitment.

Do you think this was a good move for o.b.? Do you think their customers will welcome them back with open arms or continue to “girlcott” them?

  • meredith

    This is brilliant.

    • Anonymous

      Right? I don’t use them (I’ve always been a bit nervous), but I’m totally impressed with how they’ve tried to work things out with their customers in the 11th hour.

  • While I am not part of the target audience (obviously), I thought that this was well done. We were testing it out with a couple of names here. While the names are always written in roses, in the sky, on the music sheet and balloon – he only ‘sang’ certain names. When I entered my name as Randy there was silence, when I used ‘Randi’ he sang the name as part of the song. We thought the piece was brilliantly done but had a discussion as to whether we would ‘publicly’ share it, the answers were no or maybe to a friend or two via email. Nice post Stephanie

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, Randy. 
      I watched this with my boyfriend tonight and he was wondering the same thing. I’m actually pretty surprised that they picked and chose which names to “sing”. I wonder if this was a conscious audience decision (seems like it!) or if it was a computer thing. Either way, interesting! 

      I think my motivation to share it came largely from my field of work. From a PR prospective, I found it to be something my network would enjoy. I definitely see your point that, unlike the Old Spice commercials, this isn’t something that will be wildly shared.

  • I really thought I was going to hate this. I now hate that I don’t.

    Also, I’m now disappointed that song wasn’t actually written for me. In turn, I’m now resentful.

    Probably not the intended consequence? I should get out more 🙂


    • Anonymous

      I 100% felt the same way, Kat. When I heard what the schtick was, I rolled my eyes then got sucked in to the catchy tune.

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