Following on the success of the world’s first Vagina Varsity, Libresse’s next step is to ‘boo the taboo’. That is, challenging the idea around the period phenomena. Vagina Varsity took the conversation online, creating a place where girls and women of all ages could learn the facts about their vaginas in a private and safe environment.
The ‘Unembarrass your period’ campaign takes it a step further, however, into the living room – specifically during family TV time. Libresse’s aim with this campaign was to develop a pad ad that wasn’t embarrassing. So, what can you expect to see? Think space rockets, teddy bears and saxophones. Libresse deliberately makes fun of the world’s attempt to use strange metaphors when describing periods and pads.
People choose to rather talk about ‘cookies’ or ‘kukus’ instead of saying the word ‘vagina’. Or when they talk about their periods they choose to talk use phrases like ‘auntie Flo is visiting’ or ‘shark week’ and other silly metaphors. Even pad ads typically stay pretty far from the truth with their blue liquid and girls doing cartwheels on the beach in white pants.
The first step to getting people unembarrassed, is to make them realise that they are embarrassed. That’s why the campaign is pointing out just how crazy it is when we don’t say what we mean when we’re talking about our periods.
In the ad, YouTube sensation Pap Culture use a metaphor to talk about odour control (talk about embarrassing) and then refers women back to the privacy of Vagina Varsity, which is where they deliver straight-up facts that they aren’t embarrassed to talk about. Once online, viewers can star in their own version of the Libresse Maxi pads with Odour Control ad, to share the message that it’s silly not to say what you mean when it comes to periods.
The success of Vagina Varsity rests on its position in a ‘safe space’ in the digital environment. In South Africa’s conservative society, stigma and shame about periods are entrenched. South African girls and women learn not to discuss vaginal care or associated concerns like odour control out loud and the result is that myths abound and health problems are common.
Libresse’s aim is to offer the facts through the use of the private digital platform Vagina Varsity, so that women can get informed in a fun, fearless way and be encouraged to start these critical conversations amongst themselves without the cringe-factor.
To find out more about Vagina Varsity visit: vaginavarsity.co.za
To find out more about ‘Unembarrass your period’ visit: unembarrassed.co.za