World’s best ads ever #29: Bodyform shows reality of uterus pain
We asked our readers to vote for their favorite commercials of all time. Top creatives from the World Creative Rankings and The Drum’s Judges’ Club then ranked the ads. Now, we bring you the definitive 100 best TV and video ads of all time.
Bodyform’s taboo-busting ’Womb Stories’ left its mark on millions of women who finally saw their excruciating uterus pain represented in the media.
In 2017, on a mission to change period marketing, the sanitary brand vowed to end blue liquid on pads and depictions of women having the time of their lives dancing in miniskirts. Instead, Bodyform set out to show the messy reality of menstruation.
In 2020, building on its ’Blood Normal’ and ’Viva La Vulva’ campaigns, Bodyform and its sister brand Libresse released ’Womb Stories’, a three-and-a-half-minute film by AMV BBDO that showed IVF treatment, endometriosis cramps, menopausal hot flushes, nipple hairs and first periods.
AMV BBDO’s Nadja Lossgott and Nicholas Hulley were executive creative directors behind ’Womb Stories’. Lossgott told The Drum: “It’s great that we got to the stage where we were celebrating periods and vulvas, but the truth of the matter is that, sometimes, being a woman – or a person who has a period – is pretty shit.”
Pointing to issues like IVF and endometriosis, she said: “The complexities in the life of most women are complicated and messy, and that should be acknowledged.”
To create the project, AMV BBDO decided to anthropomorphize the uterus using a monster ripping at it to signal the pain of endometriosis, while perimenopause was represented as an apartment on fire.
“By visualizing our wombs, we can begin to open up an emotional and human way to express these often complicated, contradictory feelings of love and hate, pain and pleasure, the mundane and the profound, that we constantly deal with,” Lossgott said.
Unsurprisingly the ad had an impressive awards streak, picking up multiple Cannes Lions Grand Prix and 12 Gold Pencils and a Black Pencil at the D&AD awards.
Since ’Womb Stories’ dropped, Bodyform has since launched #Painstories, a campaign calling on women to share their pain from endometriosis to adenomyosis and painful sex. Bodyform then used this insight to build a ‘pain dictionary’, using language and art to depict what numbers and data can’t.
Bodyform hopes this platform and ’Womb Stories’ can help women on their diagnosis journey.