Carefree has taken a page out of the Vagina Monologues with a new campaign that aims to subvert the shame women feel about their menstrual cycles by encouraging an online dialogue about an experience women have every month.
The campaign follows recent research conducted by Carefree that suggests today’s women are more comfortable talking about their sex lives than their periods.
The research discovered Australian women view other females who talk about their periods as vulgar (26 percent), crude (29 percent), embarrassing (41 percent) or weird (26 percent).
“We need to break these taboos to normalise the conversation around periods and provide women with the comfort that they are not alone in their experiences,” says a spokesperson from Carefree. “We want to encourage women to feel more open and comfortable in discussing their personal health, and in turn, feel more confident in managing their periods.”
In order to achieve this goal, Carefree recently launched a new TVC via DDB Sydney and OMD that features a series of overlapping vignettes during which women share stories about their menstrual cycles.
In adopting such a direct approach toward a perceived taboo, Carefree aims to illustrate that all women have unique stories – sometimes funny, sometimes embarrassing – about their periods and that the shame-induced silence related to the topic no longer needs to continue.
Interestingly, this isn’t the first time the company has used an advertising campaign to challenge the social standards that dictate what should and shouldn’t be said during a TVC.
In 2012, Carefree sparked controversy for shifting away from the euphemistic nomenclature traditionally employed in advertising to become the first Australasian company to use the word vagina in a commercial.
While some detractors thought this move was crass and inappropriate, others praised the approach for normalising the conversation about women’s bodies.
And given that Carefree's new campaign also has an online platform, which has been integrated into both the Australian and Kiwi websites, Carefree is now inviting consumers to assist in dismantling the negative connotations associated with periods by sharing their stories with the online community.
“With this campaign, we needed to reassure girls that whatever they're experiencing, however scary or uncomfortable in relation to their period, is actually perfectly normal,” said DDB Sydney creative director Jen Speirs. “[And] we felt the most effective way for us to do this was to get other people to talk about what they've gone through in the past, or are going through now.”
“The conversation that Carefree is starting with the TVCs will continue online where people can share their own real stories. The idea being that when girls hear lots of different stories, they'll see just how similar we all are.”
Creative Director: Jen Speirs
Art Director: Nadia Ahmad
Copywriter: Julia Spencer
Planning Director: Paula Bloodworth
Managing Partner: Kate Sheppard
Senior Account Director: Sarah Quinn
Account Manager: Nina Godinho
Senior Producer: Claire Seffrin
Production Company: Jungleboys
Producer: Nick Simkins
Director: Al Morrow
DOP – Lachlan Milne
Editor – Paul Swain
Post House – Method Studios
Music composition – Song Zu
Group Business Director: Stella Carnegie
Account Director: Noel Gate
Interactive Director: Sian Withers
PR: Ogilvy PR Health