Viva La Vulva – Case Study 2020

Essity

Shortlisted 2020

LIFESTYLE, LUXURY AND FASHION

Brand

Essity

Entered by:

Zenith

Credits:

Poke, AMV BBDO, Ketchum

Viva La Vulva

The Challenge

Libresse is known for its period-care offering. To grow/remain relevant in a declining FemCare category, Libresse launched intimate care products in the Nordics: washes & wipes.

Libresse’s brand platform-Live Fearless-is about breaking taboos that hold women back when it comes to periods. In 2016 we tackled sports, providing much­ needed content to keep women exercising during periods. In 2017, Bloodnormal broke patriarchal stigmas around periods, showing red blood vs. blue liquid on sanitary pads in advertising.

Challenges:

  • stay true to our taboo-breaking values in a highly sensitised environment
  • overcome media biases/policies against women

The Creative Solution

The category reinforces negative stereotypes (i.e. feminine odour, discharges) and broadcasts a sense of shame to women. We conducted research (8000+ women) across multiple countries, revealing there’s an unhealthy quest for the perfect vagina.

Regarding vulvas:

  • 68% don’t know what it is
  • 44% are embarrassed it
  • 57% feel pressured for it to look a certain way
  • 25% avoid the gynaecologist or smear test
  • 77% want better representation in culture
  • Labiaplasty, a labia-altering procedure, was the fastest-growing cosmetic surgery globally, up 45% in 2016 vs. 2015 ; ‘Designer vagina’ requests have doubled over five years
    • 56% believe it’s fuelled by porn culture
    • 37% believe it’s to please their partners

Idea:
Overturn a long history of shame and objectification to respectfully shatter the myth of the perfect vulva by celebrating all vulvas!

We created a long-form film showing diverse, beautiful vulvas of every shape and colour through analogous images such as oysters , conch shells, juicy fruits and cupcakes, singing loud and proud to the women who love them, subverting dozens of taboos, like the infamous camel-toe that women get regularly shamed for.

The Media/Content Amplification Solution

In an environment of heightened sensitivities for media owners due to ‘opaque’ decency regulations and the desire to sanitise their platforms, celebrating vulvas was both confronting and challenging for publishers and partners.

We were banned in all Nordic countries for ‘inappropriate content’ and ‘promoting the sale or use of adult products/services’. We were urged for ‘more stylized representations of the vulva illustrations ‘ which specifically reinforces the perfect vulva myth.

We persevered and tirelessly fought to challenge the media status quo to represent women in a more respectful way.

As the underdog, earned media was our lead strategy. Releasing the long-form film first challenged the media to join us in helping women understand, care and feel confident to talk about their vulva. We prepared to leverage the good and negative commentary as real-time proof to challenge taboos.

To drive awareness, trial and education, we activated a digital-led campaign throughout six weeks, with 20′ Youtube, Playad and Widespace, and 3′-6′-1O’ social videos and gifs for FB/IG/Snapchat and programmatic display. lnstagram votes helped educate women about the do’s and don’ts of caring for their vulva. All content led to the campaign webpage, which provided information and healthy debate to encourage women to have a healthy relationship with their V-zone.

The Result

Viva la Vulva proved to be one of the most courageous, disruptive , tenacious and challenging campaigns in the history of women’s intimate care.

First released in the Nordics with £0 media support, the campaign received immediate praise globally. The film reached +SMM organic views and 96% positive social comments within days.

Paid media :

  • Reached 90% of Finland and 87% of Denmark’s target, with engagement rates Sx above benchmark
  • Facebook / lnstagram /Snapchat delivered 37% of impressions, despite 16% share of ad spend
  • Achieved best view (12.5%) and engagement rates (0,8%) of any Essity product campaigns to-date
  • YouTube Brand Lift Study: 35.3% lift in Brand Awareness= ‘Best in class’ performance

It smashed all brand metrics. Most important ‘brand seems different in the category’ more than doubled versus norm . A new entrant, Libresse wipes market share reached 33% five-weeks post-launch .

Not least of all, Viva La Vulva gaining the right to exist was a hard battle with our media owners. It will be rolled out globally as we continue to break taboos.

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