Cannes Lions

Freedom Tampons

UNION, Toronto / INTERVAL HOUSE / 2021

Awards:

2 Silver Cannes Lions
1 Shortlisted Cannes Lions
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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

During the pandemic, domestic violence has increased by 30%. Women are effectively trapped in their homes with their abusers, and the isolation makes it even harder for them to reach out.

Interval House Women’s Shelter wanted to help. But how could we get lifesaving information into women’s hands, when their abusers are watching their every move?

Idea

We put lifesaving information in the one place a man would never look… a tampon.

Our specialized, resealable tampons were imprinted with all the information a woman needs to safely leave her abuser, including our crisis line number, signs of abuse, and a checklist of what to bring.

We also sent full boxes directly to nurses, counsellors, and police – people who have contact with women in abusive relationships, even in the midst of Covid-19.

Note: A version of this campaign ran pre-Covid, but these direct targeting executions were developed in response to the pandemic.

Strategy

First, we held a strategic round table with counsellors at Interval House who have daily contact with survivors of domestic abuse, to better understand our target.

Through hearing their stories of these women’s experiences, we learned that getting information to them was a matter of life or death.

If an abuser even suspects that a woman is going to leave, violence will escalate.

Knowing how crucial it was to be discreet became a key part of our strategic and creative breakthrough.

It got us to thinking: How and where could we reach these women, knowing that their abusers were following their every move?

In thinking about the places a man won’t look, we came up with the breakthrough idea of printing this lifesaving information onto tampons.

Our call to action was simple: we wanted women to leave abusers, and reach out to Interval House.

Execution

We launched this direct portion of this campaign at the height of the first wave of the pandemic, and it has been ongoing.

We mailed the tampons to women in select areas, targeting the neighbourhoods that reported the most cases of domestic abuse, per capita.

We also sent full boxes directly to Interval House’s network of partners - nurses, counsellors, and police – for them to pass on to women they suspected were in abusive relationships.

For every step of this rollout, we took extra precautions to make sure that abusers would never catch on.

Note: A version of this campaign ran pre-Covid, but these direct targeting executions were developed in response to the pandemic.

Outcome

The success of this campaign depended entirely on getting this lifesaving information into women’s hands, without their abusers ever finding out about it. And it worked.

805% increase in women seeking help

NO impressions

NO PR

NO abuser will ever know

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