Menstruation: Campaign Case Study Part 1
Recent examples of buzzing campaigns that generate significant attention on their discussion of the topic of menstruation include Australian feminine care brand, Libra's, #bloodnormal advertising campaign and period-proof underwear company, Thinx's, recent MEN-struation ad campaign.
- Libra, an Australian feminine care brand, attempted to tackle the stigma associated with menstruation in a television ad campaign launched in August 2019.
- The ad campaign, #bloodnormal, was Australia's first television ad to depict realistic menstrual blood.
- Up until the release of this advertisement, feminine care brands typically used artificially-dyed blue liquid to demonstrate product effectiveness rather than depict actual or realistic-looking menstrual blood.
- Executive general manager of Libra, Caitlin Patterson, noted the decision for the brand to adapt AMV BBDO's original campaign for Australian audiences was driven by the fact that mainstream media frequently ignores periods and female representation of menstruation, with hopes that exposure to images of menstrual blood will normalize media reception of periods.
- British marketing agency AMV BBDO was behind the campaign, which was praised for being "masterfully art directed...[a] multilayered campaign that sheds light into the dark corner of periods."
- The advertisement clip won the 2018 Glass Lion: The Lion for Change award at Cannes.
- Websites that have increased awareness of the campaign include digital advertising news publication AdWeek, industry news and marketing insights publication AdNews, and the Australian female-centric news publication Women's Agenda.
- In an effort to bring the successful campaign, which originally was launched in the UK, to Australian audiences, Libra tapped into influencer activation to spread campaign awareness.
- Local influencers, such as the Shameless Podcast's hosts, Michelle Andrews and Zara McDonald, have been sporting Libra's "Bloody Awesome" t-shirts to show their support of the campaign in influencer activated campaigns in August and September 2019.
- Other influencers, such as Australian fashion blogger "Wild Ones," have also showed their support for the brand in a September 8, 2019, post of @lucykatejackson and @nikkiwestscottt wearing Libra's "Bloody Awesome" t-shirts.
- Thinx, an American feminine hygiene brand, first made waves with its 2015 ad campaign that featured objects such as grapefruit and eggs to suggest menstruation in ads posted in the New York Subway.
- The latest campaign by the brand, and its first television advertisement, is the "MEN-struation" series, which is set around the idea that menstruation might not be such a taboo topic if men experienced them as well.
- For creation of the advertisement, the brand reached out to marketing agency BBDO New York.
- The campaign is expected to run across 18 networks, starting October 9, 2019.
- The clip, which features cisgender males re-enacting similar scenarios experienced by many who live with a period (e.g., checking in the mirror for period stains, asking friends for a tampon, and curling up in bed with menstrual cramps), was created to advertise the brand's latest leak-resistant underwear but also to spark a larger conversation around menstruation.
- The advertisement has been met with challenges: first having to cut out an entire scene due to the depiction of a menstrual blood stain in order to make networks more receptive to streaming it and meeting resistance from CBS for a scene that features a visible tampon string, initially deemed "too graphic" for mainstream exposure by the broadcaster.
- Blogs and websites have generated buzz for this campaign, including the Becausexm blog, AdWeek, the UK's Independent news publication, and Fast Company.
- Thinx has already built an impressive influencer marketing model with the female-driven, boutique marketing agency, Artisan Council.
- With a cumulative post reach of 23 million followers, two million influencer post engagements, and five times the ROI on agency and influencer fees, the model has been very successful.
- The influencer marketing strategy has been so successful due to the intensive thought process behind the influencer relationships forged by this model, with intention behind fostering relationships between THINX and the influencers that would have the most impact on the brand's mission.
- The brand intends to amplify the reach of its latest campaign by tapping into this influencer network.
- Influencers have already showed their support for the campaign, with influencer Denise Vasi -- who has 231,000 followers on Instagram -- commenting, "Love, love, love this campaign!" on a recent clip previewing the advertisement on Thinx's Instagram page.
- Additionally, @bethanycmyers, a body-neutral advocate influencer on Instagram, commented in support of the ad on a clip of the campaign, "HOLY S**T. I’m bawling in tears. Thank you thinx. Thank you thank you for the bottom of my gender nonconforming heart."