News & Views

Kotex / To Wear Or Not To Wear?

by Contagious I/O

This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O, our intelligence tool featuring the most creative and effective ideas in marketing from around the world

Kimberly-Clark-owned feminine hygiene brand Kotex has released an Android app to help teenage Argentinian girls make wardrobe decisions.

The Va No Va app invites users to upload photos of outfits, shoes or accessories that they are unsure about. The photos appear side by side on the app for other users to rate by swiping towards their preferred option.

The app aggregates the votes and feeds them back to the original user. The more a user plays with the app, the higher her ranking, and the more her opinion is valued.

The app was developed with +Castro, Buenos Aires, and Google Argentina.

Contagious Insight / 

Targeting teens
/ This is a smart piece of branded utility that could gain real traction with a young female audience. By targeting young girls who are carving out their identity (and using personal style as a way to express themselves) Kotex has hit upon a demographic who will ultimately be receptive to some unbiased style advice. And being seen as the brand that helps you out in a fix might just help Kotex stay front of mind when it counts.

As Justin Cox, strategy director at Pereira and O'Dell toldContagious in this interview about the Cannes Lion-winning campaign for Intel, The Beauty Inside, ‘All young people, no matter what generation they’re a part of, go through a journey of self-exploration.’ With Va No Va, Kotex is giving young women a helping hand during those formative years.

It’s also a clever way to break outside of category norms, giving the brand an opportunity to talk about something other than periods in its marketing. Providing fashion and style advice could help Kotex be relevant to its audience more often than just once a month.

The power of habit / It’s also smart way to market to a potentially lucrative group. If a teenage girl starts using Kotex during puberty, she might end up sticking with the brand in the long-term.

In the book Advertising and Integrated Brand Promotion , Thomas O’Guinn, Chris Allen, and Richard Semenik outline the pattern of habitual purchases. They write: ‘Getting in the habit of buying only one brand can be a way to simplify life and minimise the time invested in “nuisance” purchases. When a consumer perceives little difference among the various competitive brands, it is easier to buy the same brand repeatedly. Habits help minimise inconvenience.’ If Kotex can become the brand of choice for young teenage girls during their formative years, it might become a habitual purchase, ensuring long-term sales.

Better with the brand? / There are existing apps that perform a similar function to Va No Va, such as Go Try it On and poshpeep. The existence of comparable apps in the space could lead to unwanted competition for Kotex’s offering. However, if Va No Va has a dedicated media budget behind it, it could stand to gain more publicity (and downloads) than its unbranded counterparts.


This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O, our intelligence tool featuring the most creative and effective ideas in marketing from around the world. I/O helps anyone in the world of marketing understand why brands are innovating, how they're doing it and with what success.

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