Thursday, 26 January 2017

Bravo Bodyform

For years, advertisers of feminine hygiene products have felt the need to beat around the bush. So to speak. Ahem.

Never before has such a company felt comfortable in honestly dealing with the somewhat uncomfortable subject of what happens ‘at that time of the month’. It’s a taboo subject deeply embedded in our culture – so much so, that when women actually talk about their periods, it’s usually in hushed tones and accompanied with an awkward look – and marketeers haven’t been brave enough to talk plainly about mother nature. (Oh, don’t remind us of those awful, patronising adverts for Tampax about ‘Mother Nature coming to town’… *cringe*).
It just hasn’t come naturally. Until now.

Last year, Bodyform broke free of the prudish constraints of feminine hygiene product promotion in a series of vivid, and some would say shocking, ads that show red blood – yes, that’s right – for the first time.
Because women don’t bleed blue liquid, as most the ads would have you believe. It wouldn’t surprise us if children today grew up thinking this were actually the case...
Working on the premise that ‘no blood should hold us back’, using straplines such as ‘women bleed in sports all the time, but it doesn’t hold them back – why should periods be any different?’, the messaging behind their #RedFit campaign is as simple as it is empowering.

Showing real women, real power, real blood in an honest and, in places, quite brutal light is a refreshing step in the right direction – akin to when Dove first championed ‘real beauty’.
But of course, not everyone is happy. Whilst women across the country have praised Bodyform for their bold step, including feminists such as comedienne Sarah Millican, some have commented on how shocking the images are.
For us, though, this is missing the point altogether. They’re meant to be shocking. Only in the fact that nothing quite like this has been done before. Bodyform has endeavoured to lift the lid on something that is quite normal but has been turned into something to be embarrassed about. A ridiculous idea, perpetuated by the media – until now.
Bravo Bodyform.
Did you see the #RedFit campaign? Do you think it was a bold move?

Post originally shared on the One Black Bear blog.

Post by: Kelly O'Hanlon, Senior Lecturer in PR at BCU


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