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Agencies 4 Growth Festival Logo

Ads We Like: Bodyform tells empowering '#WombStories' to free women from shame

An iconoclast at breaking taboos, Bodyform has once again struck the right chord when it comes to approaching the subject of periods and a woman's cycle in a way that is empowering and free from shame.

Created by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, the 'Viva La Vulva' follow-up #WombStories paints a relatable picture of the ins and outs of menstruation and its all-encompassing control of women's bodies.

Covering IVF treatment, endometriosis cramps, menopausal hot flushes, and first periods – the range of womb stories are illustrated by an eclectic mix of animations that serve to demonstrate the complex relationship a woman has with her cycle.

In each storyline, relatable snippets shine through; a woman plucks her nipple hair, another has her new knickers ruined by period blood, while a new mother nurses her baby dressed in postpartum underwear.

Although small in the grand scheme of things, Bodyform has dared to include things most brands would shy away from showing. Only this year, the Oscar's rejected a postnatal advert for Frida Mom as it deemed the narrative of a woman changing her mesh underwear 'too graphic' for its TV viewers.

Hulley and Lossgott created the film, which was directed by Chelsea Picture's Nisha Ganatra.

Now sat in a category of its own, over the years Bodyform has done incalculable work in tackling the shame that shrouds periods, and there are few taboos it hasn't tried to break. The sad reality is that according to research by parent company Essity, 62% of people believe that the health and intimate experiences of women are not talked about openly, with 40% of women feeling their mental well-being is affected as a result.

In 2018, Bodyform's sister brand outside the UK, Libresse, sent out a joyful ode the female anatomy in 'Viva La Vulva', which sought to address the myths, insecurities, and stereotypes that women are subjected to when it comes to their genitals.

In 2017 - 'Blood Normal' - worked to destigmatize period blood in advertising - a bold move that saw it turn away from the watery, blue, Windex type liquid to red (a colour which has previously been persona non grata in ads related to periods).

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