This is Powerful!


Kotex takes a down-to-earth approach women can relate to

In their ad campaign this past year, Kotex’s “Break the Cycle” takes a humorous spin on women’s menstrual cycles that connects with women in an honest and refreshing way.

Other brands of feminine hygiene products have tip-toed around the subject for years, portraying women in advertisements as active, happy, and full of energy—who seem all too willing to wear white while on their periods. Meanwhile, actual women are laying on their couches, eating ice cream, and relaxing in big sweat pants. As opposed to making mother nature out to be a monthly annoyance, Kotex lightens the mood and sends the message that women’s menstrual cycles and feminine hygiene products should be viewed as a normal, healthy subject that can be discussed openly.

In Kotex’s most recent promotion “Dare to Wear,” women are dared to wear their best pair of underwear while on their period. Women can also take dares (such as compliment a stranger), send dares, or create specific dares with friends. Kotex even provides a tally of the number of women who have completed each dare, encouraging other women to join in and take positive risks in their lives.


Finding the funny within the woman

Naughty Betty has boldly gone where no Hallmark card has gone before: harsh reality.

Yes, Naughty Betty has taken what plagues us every day and given it a humorous spin so we can have a laugh over it. The glass is neither half empty nor half full—it’s a glass with about 4 ounces of liquid in it, which will be wasted if no one drinks it.

Naughty Betty is the brainchild of two creatives from the advertising industry who saw an untapped opportunity in making the truth funny—that the modern woman actually thrives on reality rather than fantasy.

NaughtyBetty has made quite a stir from pithy messages and witty statements. Stop by to check out the selection of greeting cards, paper goods, gifts, and partyware.

Warning: not designed for the sappy-hearted or humor challenged.


The Girl Store lets “shoppers” make a personal impact on a global challenge

Eric Davis shared this pretty amazing project from the guys at Strawberryfrog.

The Girl Store is a physical and online store dedicated to saving young girls from cycles of sex slavery and underage marriage. Visitors can buy impoverished girls the specific items they need to attain a proper education. The experience makes the big, unwieldy problems more tangible by showing the real impact of even a small donation.

The store was built for Nanhi Kali, a project that provides primary education for underprivileged female children. If you’re in New York, stop by the brick-and-mortar store at 501 Lexington Avenue, NY.


Runner’s World knows the real questions to ask

Photo by Ian Freimuth

When I made the decision to run my first marathon in 1999, picking the city in which I was going to run this potentially life-changing event was key. I knew that I would need to be inspired/cheered on by a great crowd. An interesting city skyline, cozy neighborhoods, and cool weather were also important. I wanted my first (and, quite possibly, last) marathon to be memorable. I knew that I’d be telling “my first marathon” stories for years to come and that picking the right city was almost as important as the training would be.

It took about 30 seconds to make this decision. The 1999 Chicago Marathon was going to be my first! All the grueling training, sore feet, and blackened toenails would be worth it, because, in the end, I’d be crossing the finishing line in one of my favorite cities in the U.S.

Runner’s World has a great article that guides runners through some of the key criteria for picking the race that is best suited to his/her needs. The article asks questions like Are you bringing the family? or Do you love the Pacific Northwest vibe? It also offers “heads up” tips that give you cautionary advice and veteran tips provided by those who have made a particular run before.

You can find great descriptions of the top 10 races so that your first marathon is special AND worth repeating. Choose your marathon.


The Limited’s gift of fashion

Just as the euphoria from holiday gift giving was waning, an unexpected package appeared in my mailbox.

A very familiar logo graced the box, which also donned a large pink graphic bow on its outer sleeve. Obviously a gift, it was addressed from The Limited’s corporate headquarters. Inside were two rondelle crystal bracelets from their spring collection, wrapped neatly in two felt drawstring bracelet bags. A very tasteful presentation. There was a note in the box from CEO Linda Heasley, which thanked me for being one of their “very best clients.” (note the word choice of client as opposed to customer—there’s something elevated about it). Also enclosed were a 30%-off savings certificate and a card with styling tips on how to wear the bracelets.

It’s not as if I spend thousands and thousands of dollars at The Limited. To be considered a “very best client,” one needs only spend $800 over a year’s time with their proprietary credit card. If you think about it, a lot of “clients” probably received this special gift. Continue reading ‘The Limited’s gift of fashion’


Sad songs say so much

A healthy diet should have no more than 2.4 grams of salt per day, what is equal to one teaspoon. But presently we average five to six grams a day and some sources report up to 10 grams a day – 12 to 24 teaspoons! High consumption of processed, packaged and fast food are often to blame, as salt is an excellent preservative. Knorr Sidekicks has recognized the need for a healthier product and has reduced salt by 25%. I fell in love with their commercial. Good-bye Salty.


What motivates us to do great work?

Came across this fantastic article by Jocelyn K. Glei that I just had to pass on:

What motivates us to do great work? It’s an age-old question. But the age-old answers – rewards, recognition, money, stability – no longer seem to suffice. As we’ve shifted to a knowledge-based economy, it turns out that what drives us has shifted, too.

Recent research reveals that when creative thinking is part and parcel of your job description, external motivation just doesn’t work. The year-end bonus, the promotion, the basic dangled carrot approach – these things don’t inspire better performance.

What really gets creatives fired up is, well, ourselves. That is, intrinsic motivation. If we can imagine an achievement, see ourselves progressing toward that goal, and understand that we are gaining new skills and knowledge, we will be driven to do great work.

Continue reading ‘What motivates us to do great work?’


A foodie blog for real mommies

One of our favorite blogs is Boil, Toil & Trouble. It’s half mommy blog / half foodie haven.  Kella Leblanc, an advertising creative director, posts almost daily with recipes and pictures from her family-dinner-after-work kitchen. We’re fascinated by her omnivore daughter who will eat all sorts of adventurous meals (that some of our husbands and boyfriends wouldn’t dare). We asked Kella to tell us a little more about her inspiration:

“My goal is to make ‘healthy’ synonymous with ‘kid-friendly’ in our house. And I think the best way to do that is to make the large majority of our meals ourselves using locally-produced ingredients when practical. So on my site I share ideas for weeknight cooking, school day lunches, and, during the growing season, ideas for using the fruits and vegetables in our weekly CSA share. I always include my 5-year-old kid in the process, so I also share how she helps in the kitchen and how I help her make better food choices.”


Cancer ad makes a personal impact

DDB Toronto went the horror-movie route with this anti-smoking spot in which an attractive young woman takes a drag off a fag and instantly transforms into a haggard old goat. “Every cigarette you smoke can take years off your life,” says the copy. The ad gets high marks for creepiness, though one could argue that a good way to keep from getting old and wrinkly is actually to smoke more cigarettes, thus boosting your chances for an early exit, before those awkward elderly years hit. In fact, if smoking made people prematurely wrinkly, as opposed to prematurely dead, there would probably be a lot fewer smokers around.