Tampax — yes, Tampax — makes awesome little indie

Okay, we know it’s just one big commercial, but we don’t care: “Zack 16″ is a great little piece of movie-making. At the beginning of this 4-part series (which you can watch in one go), Zach wakes up to find his boy parts replaced by girl parts! Sure, it trades in some tired old cliches — e.g. girls like to bake and are obsessed with clothes — but all in all it’s a super sweet and subtle look at the trauma of puberty and the abyss of misunderstanding between boys and girls. The website is totally rad, too (if you’re into that whole JUNO / AWAY WE GO movie-art aesthetic).

Should we be insulted by this big corporation preying on our weakness for cute viral videos full of funky French music and dramatic lighting? Phooey. First of all, it’s damn near impossible to spot the product-placement (which doesn’t come until Part 4). Second, we think it takes some serious labes for such a mainstream company to go so avant garde (not to mention the fact that its pace is really slow-going, breaking all marketing rules). We’re not sure we’re gonna trade in our menstrual cups or organic unbleached tampons for Tampax after this, but we did appreciate the cinematic reminder to put ourselves in other people’s shoes from time to time. That, and the conclusion that “periods suck” but having a vagina rocks!