A new campaign by UK-based Abbott Mead Vickers (AMV) BBDO and Net#work BBDO for global feminine hygiene brand Libresse, called #BloodNormal, aims to encourage positive cultural change around euphemisms and end period shaming by showing realistic depictions of periods, a subject that is still very much taboo.
For years, marketers have used a blue liquid to demonstrate their products, but Libresse replaces it with a more fitting red, demonstrating that periods are normal.
The short film features a guy buying pads, a woman asking for a pad across the dinner table and school children passing a pad across the classroom.
Libresse brand manager Mpho Nojiwa says for years women have been subjected to the discomfort of openly addressing menstruation conversations and testosterone-fueled stereotypical ideas that men don't buy sanitary products. #BloodNormal aims to debunk myths and educate society about normalising periods by confronting these sort of gender-biased stereotypes…
Why do you think talking about periods is still taboo?
We have been socially conditioned to believe that periods are a girl’s secret and that no one else should know about it. Parents are not having open conversations with their children and there are so many myths around menstruation that perpetuate stigma and exclusion.
Net#work BBDO's Vagina Varsity campaign for Libresse recently received its 14th award at the Epica Awards in the 'Health, Beauty and Fashion Digital Campaigns' category, and was the only South African campaign to be awarded at the prize giving ceremony in Berlin on 16 November...
Jessica Tennant 4 Dec 2017
Why do you think it’s about time to stop beating around the bush?
Periods are still shrouded in shame, largely invisible in culture, making them seem everything but normal, and this absence causes a toxic shame that is damaging to women and girls, like this stat from a global survey we conducted:
56% of girls would rather be bullied at school than talk to their parents about periods
We need to change the narrative and create a new normal.
We hope a positive depiction of periods and everything related to menstruation will start breaking down walls to make way for real conversations. The more we see and talk, the less the cringe factor will be. In time, we believe it will be viewed as normal as breathing.
During my adolescent years, an endless supply of sanitary pads 'magically' appeared in my toiletry cupboard. I had never thought of such things as luxury, but essential, oblivious to the reality that some school girls face...
Jessica Tennant 31 Jan 2018
How do you plan to achieve this through the campaign?
To push against the taboo and the shame to end the era of invisibility and create a new normal, by representing periods as a positive, normal part of women’s lives, making it a positive element in mainstream culture. Periods are normal; showing them should be too.
Although a multi-media campaign, why focus on the short-film format?
This is the best way to depict what millions of women go through each day and to see it for what it is. The blood, the period pain, the passing of pads from one woman to another; we believe this will resonate with our audiences.
Call them emojis or emoticons, you're sure to see even more of those colourful little symbols in all forms of digital communication, with the Unicode Consortium confirming featuring we'll have at least 230 new emojis to choose from in 2019 when different skin tones and genders are included...
Leigh Andrews 18 Feb 2019
The campaign hits the local market at the same time as trending news that a new set of ‘period emojis’ depicting a red droplet of blood, ovaries, a pad, etc. will be introduced in the next emoji collection for phones in March. How is the conversation around menstruation shifting globally?
This is a testament that this conversation has started to shift in private spaces and that brands like Libresse have recognised the need. Women are becoming more comfortable to admit that they are on their period and I think it’s about time mainstream media followed sute in order to amplify and drive this shift.
Cosmopolitan South Africa has launched a petition to end tampon tax, calling all women to campaign against period poverty in South Africa...
Jessica Tennant 12 Jun 2018