The vulva is just a part of a woman’s anatomy, but it represents a lot more. It’s the part of a woman’s anatomy that represents her difference from men and all of the things that come with that. In most cultures, not all of those things that come along are good things. A woman’s vulva has been loaded with myths, insecurities and stereotypes – both relating to the body part itself and to being a woman in general. Breaking taboos has been part of Libresse’s (Essity’s) mission for a long time, beginning with the taboos attached to feminine care advertising through to the AMV BBDO campaign, #bloodnormal, in October 2017, which broke the taboo of discussing, and showing, menstrual blood
There is huge pressure on women to look and be perfect when it comes to the vulva. And because a women’s genital area is a taboo topic and so intrinsically intimate, it’s taken a long time for women to start opening up about the issues & shame they experience. The consequences of this pressure on women’s wellbeing have only recently been researched. Those consequences range from genital dissatisfaction to elective plastic surgery and avoidance of smear tests, which can lead to more serious health issues being overlooked.
A few months ago, Libresse conducted quantitative research of 3,000 women aged 18 to 55+ in the UK, France and Sweden, delving into how they feel about and care for their vulvas. It found that over half of women feel pressure for their vulva looking a certain way and almost half of them (44%) have felt embarrassed by the way their vulva naturally looks, smells or feels. 68% of women don’t technically know what their own vulva is, with one in four completely unaware that no two vulvas should look exactly the same.
AMV BBDO’s new campaign for Libresse, Viva La Vulva, is trying to create a more open culture in which women can feel proud of what they have, can feel OK about talking about their genitals and can care for them without feeling ashamed.
Because quite simply, AMV BBDO and Libresse note, if women can’t have a positive, unashamed relationship with the most intimate part of their body, they can’t have a positive relationship with themselves.
The campaign supports the launch of new Libresse V-Care intimate range in the Nordics, a range of gentle washes, liners and wipes for women to care the way they like.
SO AMV BBDO has produced an anthem ad. An anthem to the vulva. A lip sync video performed by a plethora of diverse stand-in vulvas – a conch shell, a leaf, origami, fruit, or a woman in full vulva costume.
“Cool. Empowering. Pop. Raw. Gentle. Artistic. Relatable,” the agency stated.
The three-minute film, directed by Aussie expat, Kim Gehrig, is set to the 1975 track, Take Yo Praise, by Camille Yarbrough, which became a chart topping hit as Praise You, by Fatboy Slim in 1998.
“We looked into animation to link our scenes from a chalkboard to a tunnel motion, a vortex of vulvas taking us into other scenarios,” AMV BBDO commented.
“A flipbook, a singing oyster below the surface, a button hole, a singing conch shell held between a naked woman’s legs, vulva puppetry, sketches of vulvas in a flip-boo, Inflated balloon vulvas, a camel toe, a hard cut to a Barbie who can’t sing because she has no genitalia, an oyster. The idea that there is no perfect vagina is powerful. Defying expectations and norms, giving each one a strong, distinct personality. It’s more than anatomy brought to life, it’s a triumph of taboo breaking celebration. All of this to show that the perfect vulva is in fact their own.”
Agency: AMV BBDO
Executive Creative Directors: Alex Grieve & Adrian Rossi
Creative Directors: Toby Allen & Jim Hilson
Art Director: Diego Cardoso De Oliveira
Copywriter: Caio Giannella
TV Producers: Edwina Dennison & Nikki Gherardi
Digital Editor & Animation: Sofia Tavares
Art Production: Rhiannon Nicol
Typographer & Designer: Mario Kerkstra
Strategy: Margaux Revol, Alaina Crystal & Bridget Angear
Account Management: Sarah Douglas, Tamara Klemich, Sara Abaza, Sarah Hore-Lacy, Phoebe Swan & Nina Bhayana
Production Company: Somesuch & Co
Director: Kim Gehrig
Music: Soundtree Music
Post Production: Time Based Arts
Retouching: Happy Finish
Media Agency: Zenith
Client: Essity (Libresse)
Global Brand Communication Manager (GHC Feminine Care): Martina Poulopati