How Summer’s Eve Learned to Stop Insulting People and Love the Vagina

Summer's Eve has turned its penance from last year's horrible and much-hated douche-more-earn-more print ad into an actual semi-provocative new direction for the brand. Last year's ad couldn't have been more out of touch—its suggestion that women douche before asking for a raise came off as weird at best. Now, following an apologetic nationwide "listening tour," the brand is launching new ads from The Richards Group that dispense with the decorous innuendo and inadvisable workplace tips in favor of a celebration of the vagina as the central human organ in the history of the world—the cradle of life, the center of civilization, the cause of innumerable major wars over women (see: Cleopatra and Helen of Troy) started by horny men. Check out the new Lord of the Rings-like TV spot below, as well as a couple of print ads. There's also a new online quiz called ID the V, in which women are challenged to identify the various details of their private parts. These ads follow an earlier, very funny teaser (also below) in which a posh cat on an airplane honored the vagina via a poster presentation.
     The gap between last year's work and this is actually pretty remarkable, even if it feels like a bit of retread. Love of the vagina—both the organ and the word—has been pioneered by many others, including tampon brands, long before this. And if being able to simply say the word vagina without embarrassment is the point, it's hard to know why they went with "Hail to the V" as the tagline. The teaser video's "That's vaginal" was better—but keeping that isolated to a "viral" clip would seem to indicate that the client isn't actually that interested in risk taking after all.
     But it's a decent step forward anyway. Whether or not the world needs douching products, it certainly doesn't need archaic and insulting advice for when to use them. And Summer's Eve has clearly learned its lesson there. 

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.