Jul 15, 2011  •  In Marketing/Advertising, Personal

Got PMS? New Milk Ads May or May Not Be Offensive

The California Milk Processor Board along with ad agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners have launched a new “Got Milk?” ad campaign touting the benefits of the white stuff in reducing the symptoms of PMS.

The problem? Many women — as well as men! — are finding the ads humorless and offensive. Take a look:

As someone who suffers from severe PMS (and pregnancy is like 10 straight months of PMS!), I’m not quite sure what to think about these ads. I can see the humor in them, but I can also understand how they can rub you the wrong way.

What do you think of these ads? Are you rolling your eyes and assuming that the campaign team consists of all men? Or do you think that they purposely chose to go a slightly controversial route for the extra publicity?

Via Neatorama.


Update, 7.21.2011:

I have just learned that the campaign has come to an abrupt end due to widespread outrage.

14 Responses to “Got PMS? New Milk Ads May or May Not Be Offensive”

  1. Oh my goodness, I hadn’t seen this. I think they’re really offensive, because I find it rather unfair to make fun of something that many women can’t control (and it’s not like we WANT to be bitchy when we’re PMSing). I hate the fact that I snap at my husband sometimes when I am PMSing, but I can’t control my hormones! It seems incredibly wrong to poke fun at something that we can’t help.

    • Also, just wanted to add that I can absolutely see the humor in them, and my husband was even giggling a little as we read over them (and he agreed that they were rather inappropriate), but I still don’t think it’s a good strategy to use as a marketing campaign.

    • Jbird:

      The campaign, while it might be shortsighted as it alienates about 50% of its demographic, is directed at men who have been on the receiving end of a PMS-related outburst or several. While your point is clear in that you often cannot control the things you say/feel/do when you are in that state, it is often frustrating as a guy to be on the receiving end of it and knowing that there is NO WAY on earth we can convince you to say/feel/do differently. The result is often that we are blamed for innocuous things that are blown way out of proportion.
      In essence, its humor derives mainly from the helplessness that we as men feel when confronted with that situation that we have little control over. Yes, there is an offensive undertone that demonizes women and that is wrong; however, the situation itself is also ludicrous at times and warrants humor.

  2. I dont find them offensive.

  3. I normally love the milk ads, and I’m not usually bugged by ad campaigns, but I have two pet peeves: when dads are portrayed as bumbling idiots, and when women are portrayed as hormonal/bitchy. PMS isn’t anything we can control, and it’s not like I enjoy being cranky and in pain and BLEEDING for a week every month. Grrr.

    So yes, I don’t like these ads. :) I can see how you could find them funny, but this kind of humor just irritates me.

  4. I have fairly significant PMS, and thought the ads were pretty funny. Although I can’t control having PMS, that doesn’t mean I don’t know how ridiculous/difficult I can be under its full sway.

    Also, I think you’re right about being controversial on purpose: any publicity is good publicity, right?

  5. Meg:

    While I appreciate the humour and I think they’re well-designed, they are pretty tasteless. I’m not sure why an ad for reduction of PMS symptoms seems to be targeted at men.

  6. MrsW:

    Ok, I must secretly be a man because I find these hysterical (oh ho, I see what I did there). I think if I took the time to care about the message that’s being reinforced by them (the bumbling men/witchy women stereotype) I probably would be a little peeved, but I guess I’m just not in the right frame of mind for it.

  7. These are definitely offensive. I also think they’re corny.

  8. Audra:

    Oh come on people, they are funny!

  9. Those are funny in the way demotivational posters are funny (which I usually find very amusing!). It’s the inappropriateness based on real life scenarios that makes you giggle. But, if a product tried to advertise itself to me in this fashion, I would be turned off. I don’t think that any product should use this type of humor to sell itself. Especially when in a majority of households women do the grocery shopping.

  10. Brianna:

    I think these would go over much more smoothly if they were pictures of women, drinking a glass of milk with sheepish expressions on their face.

    “I’m sorry for inferring something you didn’t imply.”
    “I’m sorry the lines were too close together for you to read between them.”
    “I’m sorry for blaming you for ABC and XYZ even though you LMNOP.”
    “We can both blame the lack of milk.”
    “I’m sorry I heard what I said and not what I meant.”

  11. frank:

    humor comes in all forms. for you women who find it offensive, and blame your hormones for forcing you do things that you later regret and don’t want to do. the fact is, you still do it. and it’s the people around you that suffer.

    lighten up! perhaps you really need to drink more milk… to help you lighten up!

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