Bodyform’s latest period campaign focuses on the loss of sleep people face when on their period as it promotes its Goodnight pads.
“#Periodsomnia” by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO is based on research that menstruating people lose approximately five months of sleep in their lifetime due to discomfort and anxiety.
The film, directed by Kim Gehrig through Somesuch, shows people suffering from “periodsomnia” – as the brand puts it – because they have trouble sleeping. Some are seen in pain, another farts, while a woman lies awake as she shares her bed with her baby and her deeply sleeping partner.
Tanja Grubner, global femcare marketing and communications director at Essity (which owns Bodyform), said Country that the brand wanted to make sure the work appealed to everyone who has a period so included the 1% of society who are trans or non-binary men.
The brand also refers to the people it targets as Women+ as a way to be inclusive.
Grubner said the ad doesn’t do enough to represent society as a whole. “When we defined our purpose and what we as a brand want to represent, we wanted to cater to everyone from the first period to the last,” she explained. “We didn’t put the women in there and we didn’t put the ages in there.
“The advertising industry still caters to women, or girls, ages 12 to – at best – 29 as if we all stopped bleeding at 29. One of our first attempts was to represent the women of all ages, another point was that men are part of the conversation, so we showed that women don’t bleed on their own – sometimes they have partners and families, they can be mothers. so we started showing a lot of things to mothers.
“You obviously show a diversity of body types and ethnicities and we also wanted to be representative of the LGBTQ+ community.
“One of the areas that is close to my heart is highlighting disabilities and it is one of the groups that is most often underrepresented in advertising, but they use our products and we wanted to give them a platform and the opportunity to be seen in our advertisements.”
Grubner added that it’s important that being inclusive isn’t seen as a “tickbox exercise” so the brand is careful when choosing the right cast and the insights they bring to the campaign.
The ad mixes live action, animation and thermal imaging to emphasize that “rules never sleep,” the brand explained. An uptempo title, Deeply by Hardrive, plays on the two-minute film.
Grubner said: “The reality shown through #Periodsomnia is that it can be more chaotic for some Women+. It is time to stop treating women+ like leaky broken pipes. They just have rules. By revealing these universal truths, we tackle the invisibility around the realities of menstruating nights to reassure women+ that what they are experiencing is completely normal and that they are not alone in their experiences. .
Mix reality and surrealism
The film is released today and was created by Anzhela Hayrabedyan and Luca Grosso. Hayrabedyan explained that the film shows real stories from the cast and Gehrig’s initial idea was to film in their home. However, due to Covid-19 restrictions, the crew had to recreate the bedrooms on a film set.
Grosso added, “You do all this realism, but there’s only a certain feeling you can get out of it, so that’s where the surreal part comes in. How do we express what these women are feeling and cross?
“You can show a woman feeling hot and kicking the sheets, but what she really feels is something you only understand when you see her melting off the side of the bed or what an orgasm feels like. Thermal imaging was the portal between the real and the surreal.
The brand is also one of the first to tap into stories from women about their nocturnal periods. Margaux Revol, brand manager at AMV BBDO, said the team wanted to “pay homage to what happens in the dark” in a way that no other brand has done before in this category.
Gehrig also directed “Viva la vulva”, which was released in 2018. She said: “As a teenager, I would be awake for endless hours on the nights when I had my period. I would ask my mother to going to the night pharmacy at 3am to get some painkillers.Although they were a bit helpful, those nights were still uncomfortable, lonely and really exhausting.Yet in the morning I was expected to go to school and play like any other day.
“When I started this project with Libresse, I was struck by the fact that I had never discussed these nights with anyone, ever. What does it feel like to have your period? at night? I can only assume that others probably haven’t either. I hope this film is the start of a conversation and understanding of what we experience at night, every month when you have your period. And how amazing it is that we then face the next day like any other.
This article originally appeared on United States campaign.