Health and Wellness > Health Awareness & Advocacy

#WOMBPAINSTORIES

AMV BBDO, London / ESSITY / 2021

Awards:

Grand Prix Cannes Lions
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Overview

Credits

Overview

Why is this work relevant for Integrated?

Wombstories has broken every convention to break new ground for women’s health.

It dares to go where no one has before, showing the complex stories society is too ashamed to hear, and creating an entire new universe of wombworlds finally acknowledging the potency of women’s relationships with their wombs. It’s dynamited silence to create a healing culture of sharing. And created a new language for pain that helps diagnosis for overlooked conditions.

It’s pioneered new methods of data collection, using emotional listening and metaphorical linguistics. And broken the advertising dogma of simplicity by embracing complexity and all its messy truths.

Background

Bodyform/Libresse is on a taboo-breaking, truth-telling journey about women’s periods.Wombstories sought to break down the suffocating culture of silence and shame that surrounds women’s intimate experiences. A culture where miscarriage is suffered in isolation when it affects 20% of pregnancies, where endometriosis takes 8 years to diagnose because pain isn’t taken seriously, where not wanting children is still deemed shameful for women, and the list goes on.

We wanted to replace the vicious circle of silence by a virtuous one of sharing and listening. Because sharing the truth of our bodies isn’t just good for one’s health. It’s good for everyone.

But dismantling shame takes bravery. The 26 countries Wombstories launched in are vastly different. In France same sex couples were denied the right to IVF, in some markets even the word Uterus was censored, while blood, miscarriage, child free by choice are all still deep-seated taboos everywhere.

Describe the creative idea

Wombstories goes where no one else has gone before. Under women’s skin, into their very womb, daring to show all the unseen, unheard and hidden experiences. It brings it to life through unique wombworlds and wombdwellers, translating the overlooked relationship women have with their uterus into visceral, beautiful metaphors.

It started with creative listening - instead of assuming women’s experiences, we dared to ask women how they actually felt. And gave them the tools to express themselves, through projective and metaphorical exercises.

And it was designed to be a catalyst for even more listening and sharing. When the film was released - millions of people engaged with it and thousands of them gathered the courage to share personal wombstories, many of which we transformed again into creative outputs and sent back into culture.

Describe the strategy

Bodyform/Libresse is a challenger brand in feminine care, up against P&G which cannot be outspent. For several years now, the brand platform ‘Live Fearless’ has helped the brand punch above its weight by representing women’s periods and intimate anatomy in ground breaking, truthful ways.

As Bodyform/Libresse had expanded its portfolio and was expanding its audience - because women don’t stop having periods and vaginas after 30! - the brand needed to restate its purpose and identity to leave women feeling understood.

Since Bloodnormal opened the door, everyone has followed: showing periods in their true colour. But what no one dared to do was to go much deeper, into women’s most intimate and messy experiences. Because they were too taboo. Too complex. Too raw.

Bodyform/Libresse chose to address the issue with empathy, beauty, creativity and courage.

Describe the execution

Wombstories brings to life wombworlds and their wombdwellers in many ways. The film weaves together multiple storylines in a visceral emotional rollercoaster of love and hate, pain and pleasure. Throughout this bittersweet journey we dare to show the unseen, unheard wombstories: the struggle with IVF, the devastation of miscarriage, the choice to remain child free, menopause, the overwhelming pain of endometriosis, all while being a universal story of life with a womb.

The film triggered a catharsis and gave people the bravery to share their own stories which we turned into more wombstories, fuelling more sharing.

The first ever pain dictionary and the medical research paper, the pain report, targets the under researched area of endometriosis. Written by endometriosis sufferers the dictionary seeks to replace the outdated 1-10 pain scale by letting language and art do what numbers can’t: let sufferers define their own pain, and others recognise theirs.

List the results

By listening and daring to show what we heard, Wombstories has been an exploding cultural bomb.

100 million views.

Launched in 26 markets (smashing previous campaign benchmarks).

Shared in 132 countries.

1.5 billion reach (UK).

No 1 share of social voice (UK).

200% increase in social followers (UK).

Wombstories has sparked millions of conversations giving people the bravery to share their own stories in astonishing depth. Which we turned into more wombstories, fuelling more sharing. Wombstories is also making systemic change in the way data is collected on women’s pain, and the way pain is diagnosed. The pain dictionary and medical research “pain report” has been praised by doctors as a powerful tool.

Market share increase of 8.1% UK, 14.1% Russia, 9.9% Denmark.

Wombstories has been good for the brand. But it has been transformative for women. And for their health and wellbeing.

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