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Ad of the Day: Freda tackles ‘shame’ faced by trans and non-binary people who menstruate

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By Rebecca Stewart | Trends Editor

April 29, 2021 | 5 min read

Direct-to-consumer period subscription brand Freda has launched a campaign for Cycle, its new inclusive range that is ‘free from preconceptions’. The products, and advertising around them, will target the lesser-heard voices of people who menstruate, such as transgender men and non-binary individuals.

Freda: Cycle by Great Guns

Freda’s new range will target the lesser-heard voices of people who menstruate, such as trans men and non-binary individuals / Freda

Starting from the concept that menstruation is not simply a ‘female phenomenon’, but instead a ‘natural human phenomenon’, the brand has unveiled a series of films to promote Cycles that showcase the importance of period inclusivity.

Directed by Great Guns’ new signing Mar del Corral, the documentary-style campaign promotes the idea that no matter where or why, everyone deserves access to period products that keep them safe and happy.

The hero film follows three figures discussing their personal relationships with periods: writer, trans advocate and consultant Kenny Ethan Jones; content creator and LGBTQ+ rights advocate Jamie Raines; and bodybuilder, public speaker and genderqueer advocate Suifung Law.

The trio explore their previous experiences with period products, touching on issues of shame and inequality, while also advocating for easy access, freedom of choice and a continually inclusive approach.

The creative shares a message that is not often present in period product commercials.

In focusing on the intimacy and humanity of the protagonists’ stories, Mar elected for a documentary style that offered an honest, raw and sincere tone.

Combined with the use of voiceovers, the style reflects Jean-Luc Godard’s notion that ‘when you photograph a face, you photograph the soul behind it’.

His use of black and white in the spots seeks to challenge the audience’s tendency to associate colors with a particular gender – something the campaign wanted to remove from the screen.

Mar de Corral said: “This felt like we were making something bigger than a commercial. It was a statement, it was a manifesto, it was a need.

“So we overcame all the difficulties of working remotely to come together in a very inspiring way. I learned that when you want something to happen, it will happen. I’m forever grateful for this project and all the people that made it happen.”

Freda, which produces natural sanitary pads and tampons, has also updated its brand manifesto as part of an ongoing mission to ‘normalize’ periods and period care.

The campaign has landed as more consumers than ever are comfortable expressing personal identities beyond the gender binary. In line with this, brands – especially those in the beauty, hygiene and clothing sectors – have been reconsidering the language they use and embracing gender-neutral terms.

It also comes as advertisers like Bodyform and Always get bolder with their executions of period-themed marketing, from showing real blood in their creative to exploring issues such as endometriosis.

You can watch ’Cycle x Freda’ in full above or click on the Creative Works gallery below to vote for it. To get in touch about Ad of the Day, please email: imogen.watson@thedrum.com.

Freda: Cycle by Great Guns

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