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ob Tampons Selling an Environmental Approach to Your Period

June 29, 2008

Last night, I saw a commercial for ob tampons that, to me, was clearly suggesting through both words and imagery that the ob product is more environmentally friendly than other popular tampon brands. Indeed, they have a “mighty. small.” campaign going that emphasizes the lack of an applicator and so less waste for disposal.

One section of the campaign website includes tips for greener living, which assume a target audience of adult women with disposable income by including tips for wrapping your water heater in an insulating blanket, taking a reusable water bottle to the gym instead of buying bottled, and online bill paying. They’re even holding a contest for adult U.S. women in which the grand prize is a Toyota Prius.

To be clear, I’m not endorsing ob, although I think it’s something to watch for a mainstream tampon maker to be specifically addressing environmental issues. Seventh Generation and Natracare have been doing this for years, and more explicitly, although those might have been considered to have a more “fringe” audience. The campaign does seem a bit like something we’ve seen a million times before – urban white women with money buy their environmental street cred, ignoring young women and other audiences. The menstruation focus, though, is something I haven’t seen before on television and outside of the companies mentioned above for the already aware.

Of course, an even more environmentally friendly option for women would be products such as reusable cloth pads, the Keeper or Diva Cup, but smarter choices can be made in tampon-land. This may be the first time in my lifetime that I’ve seen menstrual products sold on television with a “green” message, and it will be interesting to see if it causes some women to start thinking more about the amount of lifetime waste associated with menstrual products.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 30, 2008 12:47 pm

    I seem to remember ob using this line to sell tampons years ago, back when I still watched TV. I’ve always been an ob partisan (did everyone else just start using the brand of tampons their mother used?) I never realized that I cared what kind of tampon it was, until I was out of town a few weeks ago and living on borrowed tampons. I also looove the redesign of the ob tampons with the sort of band-aidy covering that keeps fluffy tampon bits from sticking to your vagina when removing.

  2. June 30, 2008 1:01 pm

    sara, they may have, it’s just been long enough that I’ve forgotten it! 🙂

  3. Jessi permalink
    March 28, 2009 2:21 pm

    As good as it is to have a tampon company target environmental issues, I think more women need to be informed about a menstruation product that is pretty much the most environmentally friendly product on the market.

    The “Diva Cup” or any other brand of menstruation cup is a great invention. I switched a couple years ago and I never use tampons at all unless I get caught away from home without my cup. The only waste is the box it comes in, and if you recycle that you are doing the planet a world of good.

    It’s not gross or disgusting at all. You hardly even see the blood, and I have never gotten it on my hands. It’s no different then using OB tampons with no applicator, a diaphragm, or the Nuva ring. Frankly any girl who’s ever masturbated can’t give me a legitimate argument for not using a menstruation cup.

    So I will give credit to OB tampons where it is due. But if you wanna be really environmentally friendly, try the “Diva Cup.” You might now ever switch back.

  4. March 28, 2009 4:25 pm

    Jessi, I’m completely agreed – I’ve been using a Keeper for nearly a decade, and would never go back to the disposables.

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