With a mission to break taboos wherever it goes, the fem-tech darling Elvie is calling upon fans to #LetFannyFly after its campaign regarding pelvic floor health was banned from sponsoring Edinburgh Fringe this weekend.
Launched in 2013, Elvie currently has two products on market: a smart Kegel tracker that helps women strengthen their pelvic floor with real-time biofeedback and the Elvie Pump, a welcome alternative to the clunky and restrictive milking machines of days gone by.
The fem-tech startup understands that for many women, discussing female health problems like incontinence can be difficult. Therefore, its marketing strategy has been to raise awareness in a humorous way that makes it easier for women to talk about, without undermining the seriousness of the condition.
Famous for its open-minded festival atmosphere and risky performances that ingeniously break boundaries, the Fringe was the perfect platform for Elvie to do this, in order to break taboos around 'yucky' women health problems.
Despite plans to open 'The P*ssing Booth' on the Royal Mile - the Fringe’s main thoroughfare - the pop-up was cancelled at the last moment as the Edinburgh festival deemed the design “not suitable.” The issue? It represented a vagina on the exterior of the structure.
Elvie had also commissioned a vagina-shaped blimp to be tethered in Festival Square. The 19ft blimp was designed to encourage people to visit #FreeFromPee - where they would find educational content around pelvic floor weakness, which can lead to incontinence.
The council also found an issue with the fanny-shaped blimp, which is now currently sat in a field half an hour outside the city, just waiting for the opportunity to fly.
Elvie has now turned this knock-back into a positive and broadcasting the experience through the hashtag #LetFannyFly, to show how far the conversation still has to go. It is also encouraging people to sign its Change.org petition.
If enough people offer their support, Elvie hopes that the Fringe Festival and City Council will change their minds and give it permission to take its fanny blimp to the skies in the name of pelvic floor health.
With an estimated 2.8 million visitors descending on Edinburgh for the annual Fringe festival, Elvie’s data suggests that 420,000 women could expect to experience embarrassing leaks during the month-long event, preventing them from enjoying all the Festival has to offer.
Commenting on its #LetFannyFly campaign, chief exec and founder, Tania Boler, said: “The reality is that pelvic floor issues are extremely common, affecting almost 10 million women in the UK. Yet, there is a cloak of silence shrouding this topic. It’s overlooked, or worse, treated as taboo and something to be ashamed of. We came to Edinburgh Fringe because we believed it was one festival that would not let taboos dictate their agenda.”
"The fact that our campaign has been banned because it involves a part of a woman's anatomy shows that taboos around women’s health still run deep in our society. Vaginas are nothing to be ashamed of, half of us have them. And that’s hardly fringe now is it?”