The video reply from Bodyform to a comment by Richard on the brand’s Facebook page has officially gone viral, with Carat’s communications planning manager Rachael Lake saying everyone is ‘completely awestruck’ by the response it has received.
Lake – who told The Drum that Richard is in fact a real person who is amazed at the number of people who have liked and comment on his post, and not a made-up commenter by the brand as some cynics have suggested– said the response was created by Carat and Rubber Republic after Bodyform asked how to reply.
She explained: “Bodyform asked us if we thought that they should reply, and we thought about a few ways in which they could respond to him, and then it got to 82,000 likes and we thought that the best response would be a tongue-in-cheek video in the same vein as his comment.
“Actually, what he had done for us was getting people talking about periods – which is something no-one wants to talk about. We’ve struggled in the past to get media owners to understand why they’d want to take Bodyform as a brand – and the fact that he managed to get 82,000 people to like a comment about periods – about PMS – was incredible. We did this as a compliment to him, to make it feel like we were sharing the joke with him.
“We’ve never been able to have a conversation like this with people; people don’t want to talk about Bodyform or periods. Now we’ve got hundreds of thousands of people who are willing to like a video that is essentially talking about something which no-one wants to talk about. This is what social media has allowed us to do – in traditional media it’s only a one way message, you don’t get to reply to what other people is interesting about a topic, you just put out what you think is interesting. What social media allows us to do is tap into what customers really want to hear: FemFresh was an absolute disaster because it got the tone completely wrong, by using Richard’s tone we felt we were in a much stronger position.”
What happened once it was decided that a video was the best way to respond? Lake told The Drum: “Once we decided we wanted to do a video, we talked to a number of parties to find who could create the video, and came across Rubber Republic, who wrote the script and filmed the video in our office. They were able to turn it around in a fantastic about of time – we briefed them on Wednesday and they were filming on Saturday.
“The structure we have allows us the flexibility to respond quickly: in the past agencies have been guilty of taking too long and missing the zeitgeist. The digital strategy was managed by Rachael Clark and Coral Baker managed the production.”