I just got back from an AmeriCorps reunion, during which my friend Angela told me about this fascinating Kotex ad she had seen on TV the week before. Check it out:

So, my first reaction was: this ad is genius and refreshing in the meta way that it blatantly calls out all of the stock ways that big-time advertisers (in this case, for feminine products) try to sell to women. Rock on for pointing out that advertisers so often use lame mainstream tactics of playing on standard definitions of beauty and trying to convince viewers that this or that product will make you and your life “better” and more like what you see in the commercial—and for pointing out that such appeals are boring and obnoxious.

But my second reaction: but, wait, they’re still selling something. Only now they’re just marketing themselves as a “cool” and “alternative.” Even though their product, from what I can tell, is pretty standard (and I’m not even going to start thinking about what they’re made of, the environmental impact of their production and use, etc.). So basically they’re just co-opting “subversive” to sell a product? Ugh.

So, I’m torn. What do you think?