Let It Whip

hooly rag

tuesday tvI’ve mentioned in a previous Retro Ad Tuesday how difficult it is to properly advertise products of a rather sensitive nature.  Feminine hygiene products in particular are a delicate subject to be bringing up for a television audience.  Some ad execs boldly confronted the issue head on, much to our awkward amusement.  Others decided that subtlety was the way to their target audience’s toiletry bags…

Take, for instance, the curious way that Tampax advertised its line of tampoons tampons in this classic ad from around 1999…

What message is this commercial really trying to tell women out there?

I was like totally corked up when we did all that dancing and flipping around out there today, Bobbi Sue!

I was like totally corked up when we did all that dancing and flipping around out there today, Bobbi Sue, and I never felt a thing!  Except the opposing quarterback’s hand on my ass.,..

Or maybe Tampax gives you magical powers…

Here... put this in and you'll be able to dance like my daughter down at the strip club!

Here… put this in and you’ll be able to dance like my daughter down at the strip club!

Or perhaps tampoons are just evil jokesters like Kilroy and Captain Morgan….

You dirty rag!!!

You dirty rag!!!

Regardless of what Tampax was trying to sell in this ad, you have to really feel bad for almost everyone involved in it.  The Grambling State dance team, for starters, has to be a little creeped out by the fact that they were just shown on TV screens across the country in a commercial where the ad itself forces the viewer to assume that at least one of them is actually dancing to that old ragtime tune.  Or maybe it’s supposed to be a guessing game!  Gather up the kids and Grandma for the most fun you can have while watching TV!  First one to guess which girl has the cork wins a lifetime supply of FDS and the official Tampax Was There home game…

34% of the audience is a winner!

34% of the audience is a winner!

Then there’s the marching band…. poor guys.  That’ll make Daddy proud… their son went off to college to pursue their dream of starring in a tampon commercial.  I don’t even think freshman hazing could come up with a more cruel fate than these poor horn blowers and drum liners now have to live with for the rest of their lives when their friends and co-workers find this ad on The Nest YouTube…

And I'll bet Tampax didn't even pay them for their tampon shilling...

And I’ll bet Tampax didn’t even pay them for their tampon shilling…

And then there are the men whose music made us want to get up and dance… at least  until the thrilling climax when we found out just what this commercial was actually advertising.

It was the white guy's idea to do this ad... I swear!

It was the white guy’s idea to do this ad… I swear!

The Dazz Band had a rather prodigious career in the R&B music business during the 80’s and 90’s, but to the public at large, they are essentially nothing more than a one hit wonder.  And that one hit was the song used in this commercial… “Let It Whip”, which reached #5 on the US Hot 100 back in 1982.  I was completely unfamiliar with this song when I first saw the commercial, so you can imagine what I thought the first time I heard “Let It Whip” play on the radio during one of those disco music marathons that were popular around the turn of the millennium…

Golly, Mom!!!  Come quick!!!  It's The Tampax Song!!!!

Golly, Mom!!! Come quick!!! It’s The Tampax Song!!!!

Yes, I have seriously always thought of “Let It Whip” as “The Tampax Song” every single time I have heard it played in the last 15 years.  I know the members of The Dazz Band probably thought it would be easy money to let Tampax use their song in a commercial selling feminine hygiene products… but seriously, did anyone in the group think of what this was going to do to their legacy?  Can you imagine The Dazz Band doing one of those retro concerts at a casino or state fair, and some redneck in the audience holding up a cigarette lighter shouts out…

Could you play The Tampax Song!?!?!?

Could you play The Tampax Song!?!?!?

Given the number of lives this commercial ultimately ruined, one can only hope Tampax sold a hell of a lot of tampoons thanks to the exposure brand awareness they got from this ad.  But regardless of how well the sales of corks were flowing, The Nest would like to take this opportunity to salute everyone who was involved in one of the greatest WTF ads in the history of stealth advertising.  While your embarrassment may be worse than a case of toxic shock syndrome, at least your misery can capture a heavy flow of company…

There are advantages to living alone...... loser!

There are advantages to living alone…… loser!

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About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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46 Responses to Let It Whip

  1. Mental Mama says:

    I’m just gonna offer up a little prayer of thanks to the almighty ceiling cat that my days of dealing with that shit are OVER.

  2. C.K. Hope says:

    That’s it, I’m blaming tampax for all my younger years of drunk dancing!

    • There you go. With the right attorney, I’ll bet it would hold up in court too!

    • OMG!!! For some reason, your blog quit showing up in my Reader! I thought you went on another hiatus…. now I have catching up to do!

      • C.K. Hope says:

        Somehow the switch over to the new name screwed everything up (“somehow” meaning I didn’t know what I was doing)

        You don’t have a lot of catching up, I kind of took an extended break over the holidays. (which is why it looked like I was stalking your blog last week while I caught up 😉 )

  3. NotAPunkRocker says:

    Things I learned: The Dazz band has a white member? Not that it matters, they still whip it, but I never knew.

    I am trying to figure out which is worse, the tampon commercials or the viagra commercials. They both deal with things that happen with age and body changes. Hmmm.

    • The Viagra and Cialis ads are really bad… but they’re a dime a dozen. They don’t make many bold tampon ads like this one!

      I think it was some kind of rule that every R&B group from the disco era had to have a token white member. Heatwave and The Trammps also had one. The things I learn by paying attention to the pictures of the bands they put up on the Music Choice channel…

  4. Twindaddy says:

    Wow. Now I’ll be wondering where Tampax ISN’T. I just went through the drive-thru…was Tampax there? Was it at the grocery store? Was it in the men’s room? MY CAR??? AUGH!!!

  5. I like how you call it “cork”. Such a lovely image, there. Also, let it whip – for a tampon commercial . . . um . . . what are we whipping exactly? Just, no, it’s just wrong. There really just shouldn’t be any advertising. Women will buy the stuff. They kinda have to, so, yeah, don’t.

    If you really want a lot of bad tampax jokes, you’ll have to look at the retro ad Mer and I did – if you can stomach more red tide references.

  6. LOL!!!!!! and LOL!!!!!!!! again. 😀

  7. 1jaded1 says:

    Couldn’t stop laughing. I remember those commercials and use to hope they made good money…um acting…in them.

    • About the only thing I can think of that’s more embarrassing is a display we once had at Mecca for a new brand of adult diapers. There was a cardboard insert for the display that showed the diapers being modeled by actual people! Thankfully, for them, their heads were not included… but still, that’s gotta be one awkward photo shoot…

      • 1jaded1 says:

        Heh, that means they couldn’t get full royalties..boo to their agents. What does a vampire say after dipping a bloody tampax into hot water? Answer: Tea time…

        Thank you again for a much needed laugh.

  8. reocochran says:

    My goodness! This was funny and very true! Well, too bad we cannot embarrass you, in some way or another! Ha ha!! Smiles, Robin

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