I’ve worked just enough in marketing and advertising to be generally annoyed with how those things work.

It’s not all evil and cynical of course, but at the end of the day, the point of marketing is to convince you that you need what’s being sold, whether you really do or not. And in this day and age, that noise is impossible to escape. We’re looking at screens all the time, and every permutation of activity on those screens has ads. Look away from them and there are still billboards and bus stops and radio jingles and generally just a million tiny salesmen around you.

Even for the more savvy among us, that messaging can start to seep in and really affect our thinking.

Which is why stories like this one are so interesting. How can a simple ad campaign create cultural stigmas that last decades? Let’s find out.

Prologue: What’s the Problem with Pads?

Chapter 1: Lowkey Sexist

Chapter 2: Toxic Shock Syndrome & Advertising Strategies

Chapter 3: Better for Your Mobility

Chapter 4: Varying Shades of Pale-ness

Chapter 5: The Commercial Strategies are Cemented

Epilogue: Pastoral Field of Flowers

Remember, if you really want to make an informed decision about the products you’re buying, studies and impartial reviews are what you should delve into. Anything you see in an ad should be taken with more than just a pinch of salt.

What’s the strangest ad you’ve ever seen?

Tell us in the comments.