Since you guys did so well with the whole Thrustmaster/Stickmaster quiz, here’s another creative consumer challenge for you. There’s a commercial currently running on Australian TV that infuriates me. It’s shot like a 1940’s crime movie. With tense music pumping in the background, a well-dressed woman is cleaning up after a murder she has just performed. She drags the dead businessman on the floor out the door. She sweeps up broken glass. The music gets louder as police begin to close in on the house. She sweeps a pile of money off the desk into a bag. Just before the coppers burst in, she notices a small puddle of blood the corpse has left on the floor. So she…

What? Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to guess what the murderess does to avoid arrest, and to determine what product this stupid melodrama is selling. Any ideas?

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  1. What? She what!? Does she like,
    ‘swiffer’ or ‘pledge grab-it’ up? Oh my god, I totally bet she does some horrible wet-vac kind of thing.

    Cleaning MURDER is EASY!

  2. Ok, this is gross, but does it have anything to do with….that time of the month? “See officer, that isn’t blood from the murder I just committed…I just have my’friend’!”

  3. Ooooh, I wanna tell you guys, but I’m gonna wait another day for more people to guess. (Most folks don’t surf on the weekend.) But I’ll just say… one of you is on the right track!

  4. You’ve probably seen it, haven’t you, Claire? Don’t give it away!

  5. is that the ‘pad’ ad??

    i cant believe its on again…very clever but a little ‘rude’ 😉

  6. It sounds like it could be an ad for some sort of heavy duty cleaning product.

  7. It sounds like it could be an ad for some sort of heavy duty cleaning product.

  8. I’m gonna go on a limb, and say it has something to do with chocolate. She distracts the officers with some yummy candy and gets away scot-free.

  9. While the “monthly visitor” guess would be creative, I don’t think advertising media, even Down Under, is quite ready for that approach. So I’m guessing it’s for a cleaning product like paper towels.

    Why can’t we have any ads with men using cleaning products?

  10. You thought they wouldn’t go there, but they did. (Props to Little Julie.) That’s right, our murderess opens her bag and whips out a maxi pad, which she then uses to clean up the blood. The cops burst in, but unable to find any evidence of a crime, she gets off scot-free. Can you believe that?? (Not to mention the fact that they don’t show what she does with the bloody pad.)

    There’s another “pad” commercial that pisses me off. It shows three girls on holiday in Italy, visiting some piazza with a fountain. The statue in the fountain is one of those little-boy-peeing things, so they post for a photo. As one of them poses, her bracelet falls into the water. Since it was this horrible big silver jangly 80’s thing, they can’t see it amid the bubbles and the coins on the bottom. One of the girls makes an “I have an idea!” face and reaches into her bag. On top if a brand new, unopened bag of Stayfree pads. She pulls one out and folds it into a tube of some sort, which she then jams onto the statue’s penis. The water thus stopped, her idiot friend is free to retrieve her unfortunate fashion accessory. Two nuns walk by scandalized in the background. A hot Italian guy nearby is so taken with these cheeky girls, he offers to take the picture for them. Ahhh, Stayfree.

    CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS? Two commercials selling maxi pads on the basis that they A) help you clean up after murder and B) can be used to stuff up waterworks. What happened to talking about absorbency and wings and stuff? And hello? No thin little pad is going to STOP A FOUNTAIN. I hate to destroy any illusions you males might have, but menstruating is not like peeing. There’s no way that would work.

    Am I the only one whose intelligence is insulted by this crap??

  11. Man, Howie, that is rough. And seriously, props to Little J for getting that (what up, Little?!). But, here’s what I don’t get about the Stayfree commercial… does it have a Mentos-esque quality that people would enjoy, or is it completely serious? Aussies love menstruation, that’s what I’m learning.

    Hey, and one more thing- it’s kind of interesting, this murder thing. I know it is prob a dumb commercial, but since I haven’t seen it, and can’t be annoyed, think of taking a women’s studies stance on it. Is society that repulsed by women’s cycles, that it is sort of tongue in cheek that this woman is using that to her advantage (like, men are so grossed out that we can reclaim it and use it for empowerment – albeit, murder)? Again, I’m sure to see it is less impressive.

  12. The Stayfree one isn’t completely serious. I mean, it’s got a “wacky” soundtrack and the characters are laughing through it the whole time. It’s kinda fun. I just find it ridiculous that some ad executive somewhere sat down and thought, “How can I sell some pads? Oh I know, I’ll send the cast to an exotic location and invent an elaborate plumbing scenario for the purposes of demonstrating that Stayfree stop EVERY leak.” I mean, who’d come up with that?

    I like your interpretation of the murder ad, but to be honest, I don’t think the advertiser had any such intention. If anything, it’s the opposite: “Women are so evil that they’ll even put their bodily functions to use hiding their evildoings.” Man, now that I think about it that way, I hate it even more!

  13. I must say that, as a man, I find this advertisement mystifying. TV ads over the years led me to understand that women’s sanitary products were used only to soak up a clear blue liquid of indeterminate origin…

    Actually, if I remember rightly from the media debate about this when the ad originally aired about two years ago, it was thought to do two things: 1) yes, be a vehicle for some kind of offbeat “women’s empowerment” message (albeit one devised by an ad agency), as an alternative to the usual presentation of women in these kinds of ads; and 2) to stop men grossed out by the usual ads (quite a large demographic, apparently) from changing the channel.

  14. So you’re saying that men are more grossed out by the traditional “feminine” ads (like the ones with the blue liquid) than with a woman actually using a pad to soak up a puddle of blood? Weirdness.

    Personally, I preferred the old ones, because at least they were trying to sell the product on its merits (with relation to what women actually use it for). I mean, what’s next? Selling tampons by showing how they can be used to cork up a wine bottle? I understand that advertising standards (and the squeamishness of viewers) present them from really discussing or showing that these products are for. But showing them being put to completely *different* uses is just insulting our intelligence.

  15. Although, if you think about it, it’s kinda like the toilet paper ads where they show the kid stuffing her clothes with TP and then playing football? riding a bike? (the details are fuzzy) without getting hurt because the toilet tissue is so soft and cushiony. It has nothing to do with how well the toilet paper serves its intended purpose.

    I haven’t seen the ad in question, so don’t know how it would make me feel. Just reading the description, however, it doesn’t ping my feminist-recoil button (which is odd, becuase it’s typically very sensitive).

    On one hand, I don’t think that we should have to cater to men’s embarrassment and squeamishness (get over it already, guys! half the population menstruates; always has). On the other hand, I really don’t like graphic discussions of bodily functions (of any kind) interrupting my television watching. I guess I prefer the more medical science type ads “I’m a doctor and have designed these pads, tampons, etc to optimally absorb flow, as you can see by the chart and graphs”…

    Just be careful talking about that wine cork tampon idea, Kris, it could be the next big ad campaign. 😉

    (I really enjoyed the entire discussion, by the way; very clever!)

  16. Would you please tell if even the forties themed australian commercial was a Stayfree one?

  17. I honestly couldn’t tell you, Giovanni. It was five years ago and I don’t think it’s been on recently.

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