Bodyform’s most recent advertising campaign has gone viral with its all-round positive approach to periods. The ad features a series of beautifully shot clips of women performing high intensity sports from boxing to mountain biking to ballet. The focus is on how powerful these women are, and how far they will push themselves to achieve their goals.
And there is blood. Lots of it. Gushing from their knees, foreheads, elbows and feet. This is a rare, if not entirely unique sight in the world of advertisements for sanitary products, where period pads are usually soaked in an unknown blue liquid to demonstrate their absorbency, rather than something that might resemble blood. But, people bleed blood from their vaginas, not WKD.
It is undeniably refreshing to see an ad campaign for sanitary products that doesn’t shy away from the very thing that it’s attempting to advertise for; periods. If you had no prior knowledge as to what periods are, you could be forgiven for thinking that they come in the form of a small gift wrapped box brought to you by an exceptionally well dressed old lady at the most inconvenient of times.
The running theme in sanitary product advertisements is that periods are not to be spoken of, that they are to be kept a secret and dealt with using only the most discreet packaging. Tampax even launched a line of tampons, ironically named ‘Radiance’, with “an even more discreet wrapper that is softer and quieter than Pearl Compak”.
So, if letting people hear the crinkle of a tampon wrapper is thought to be too much for our sensitive ears, it would appear we have quite a long way before everyone feels comfortable enough to have an open discussion about menstruation. But, by showing how strong women can be – no matter where they bleed from – Bodyform have taken a step in the right direction.
[Aoife Maguire – @aoifeymaguire]