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AnalogFolk on working with Canesten to make vaginal health a talking point in Brazil

Openly discussing vaginal health is still a social taboo in Brazil

AnalogFolk won the ‘Healthcare and Pharma’ and ‘Chair’s Award’ categories at The Drum Awards for the Digital Industries 2021. Here, the team behind the winning entry reveal the secrets of this successful project...

The challenge

While Bayer’s intimate healthcare brand Canesten is available in Brazil’s consumer market, openly discussing vaginal health is still a social taboo. And the root of this problem is a lack of education, stemming from myths perpetuated by Brazil’s recent abstinence-only sex education policy.

Canesten challenged us to create and roll out a new global brand purpose: to help women to set themselves free from the shame and discomfort caused by intimate infections.

The strategy

Our research found that one-in-four Brazilian women are ashamed to say the word ‘vagina’. But three-quarters of women will experience thrush at least once in their life and 60% feel shame when they get it.

In Brazil, vaginal infections are associated with being ’less clean’ when in fact the exact opposite is the case. Many young people don’t know that infections can be caused by showering with soap two-to-three times a day during summer, leading to an imbalanced vagina PH.

We wanted to help young people learn the truth about their vaginas and how to keep them healthy. How? By launching a shame-free school that turns vital knowledge of vaginal health into entertaining, fun and educational lessons that spoke to the audience on their level, in a place that they felt comfortable – TikTok. Here, we also knew that regardless of circumstances, anyone could access this education.

The campaign

Welcome to Intensivão da PPK , the digital school of intimate health offering a five-week program that educates young people on the topic of vaginal health in a fun and forthright way.

Our shame-free school has a curriculum that covers all topics relating to vaginal health. The nine interactive lessons and final exam were led by headteacher and pelvic physiotherapist Claudia Milan, body positive advocate Hana Khalil and psychologist and comedian Pequena Lo. They are all credible experts in their field – and bold, engaging and fun.

We designed lessons which specifically targeted Brazilian-specific myths and taboos. For example, the fashion class focused on why wet swimwear could increase your chances of infection. In our media studies lesson, we addressed the alarming statistic that Brazil is the leading country for labiaplasty procedures worldwide, teaching our audience that ‘normal’ vaginas come in all shapes and sizes.

Our cohort of example students were young, well-known faces on TikTok – famous for being outspoken, confident individuals.

Intensivão da PPK was launched on TikTok in Brazil in February 2021 and ran for five weeks. The global version, called Vagina Academy, is now live in Italy and will launch in the UK later this year, followed by Australia via several social media platforms, such as Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube, to allow young people easy access to engaging class content and live streamed seminars.

The results

Since its launch, the Intensivão da PPK TikTok channel has driven:

  • 43m video views.

  • 210,000 TikTok channel subscribers (equivalent to filling 17,500 real-world sized classrooms).

  • One de-censorship of the word ‘vagina’ on TikTok (vagina health is now a welcomed topic on TikTok – a world-first – after we appealed and won ‘vagina’ de-censorship).

This project was a winner at The Drum Awards for the Digital Industries 2021. Find out which of The Drum Awards are currently open for entry.

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