"In a UK first, the Bodyform advert shows a hand pouring realistic-looking blood onto a sanitary towel, followed by a close-up of blood on a woman’s legs in the shower."
News channels all over the country are picking up this story, I'd be foolish to assume that everybody is okay with it. But, what a move! It may be no shock for you to read that I have never come in direct contact with anybody's menstruation, but it's definitely not something I want to dive right into. The thing is, the period has somehow found itself in a position of stigma, which Essity (parent company of Bodyform), said it wanted to "challenge the stigma around periods".
The Bodyform 'Blood Normal' ad was made by AMV BBDO shows blood running down a girl's leg in the shower and depicts blood elsewhere during the advertisement. It also shows (realistic looking) blood being poured onto a sanitary pad rather than the typical blue 'blood-like' solution we're used to seeing.
AMV BBDO's research reportedly found that 74% of people wanted to see more honest representation in adverts, and this #bloodnormal video campaign aims to tend to this statistic. Putting their "no blood should hold us back" notion, Bodyform have released the advert onto UK television, and the reception seems positive.
“That’s the nub of the challenge for us. If something is a taboo, it’s going to be difficult at times. Periods are a normal thing, but even in Western society it does ultimately have an impact on women’s confidence. And our brand has a right to discuss and debate this issue, as we’re in that arena,” Nicola Coronado, marketing director for Bodyform owner Essity, tells Marketing Week.
Bodyform seems to be pushing the boat out when it comes to tackling women's issues. They previously brought their "no blood should hold us back" attitude to our screens last year, to break 'last taboo' for women in sport, showing women getting battered in sports only men are typically seen taking part in. Previous to that, an earlier 2016 campaign was created aiming at breaking down taboos around periods by introducing six ‘femojis’ and asking people to sign a petition to support the cause.
Director of the video, Daniel Wolfe said in a statement that one comment he saw on social media – “Can’t wait for the day when women no longer pass tampons to a friend like they are a Class A drug” – offered particular inspiration. “We wanted to create something that provided a platform for discussion rather than trying to tell people what to think. And we hopefully made a film which isn’t defined by the gender of its director. A film which both women and men will take something from, hopefully helping instil the idea of a new normal.”
And, I think what he said is perfect. I think it not only shows the heart-warming motivation behind the campaign execution, but highlights further the positive elements of the advertising industry. The ability (or attempt) and modifying culture on a mass scale for what most may consider the collective good. Instilling the 'idea of a new normal' for something which is quite literally a daily occurrence somewhat shows the cultural state we're currently in. Luckily, I was never taught to think about subjects like this as a thing. They were just explained to me as something which happens, that's it. It's part of someone's day, that's all.
Thank you Bodyform, again.