The comment was written by UK resident Richard Neill and received 40,000 hits in 24 hours – 10 times more likes than the Bodyform page had at the time. Richard claimed that Bodyform had misrepresented the reality of women’s periods, making him believe that women were more joyous and physically active at this time more than any other, until he got a girlfriend and learned the truth.
Richard’s response was to Bodyform ads such as these:
In the brilliantly scripted response video, fictional Bodyform CEO Caroline Williams says, “We lied to you Richard, and I want to say sorry… Sorry.”
“You’re right,” she says. “The flagrant use of visualisation such as skydiving, rollerblading and mountainbiking – you forgot horse riding, Richard” she chides gently, “are actually metaphors. They’re not real.”
“I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but there’s no such thing as a happy period,” says Williams.
“You, Richard, have torn down that veil and exposed that myth, thereby exposing every man to a reality we hoped they would never have to face.”
Advertising sanitary products has always been more of a fiction rather than fact. Who chose blue to represent the colour of blood in product advertising? Watch for what CEO Williams does with the blue liquid, the brilliantly delivered line “the blood coursing from our uterii like a crimson landslide”, and for the exposé of another long-held myth about women.
The Bodyform response video currently has over 800,000 hits on YouTube.
The idea was NOT a PR stunt, but a genuine response to Richard Neill’s Facebook comment. Richard has since posted on the Facebook page again, calling the response ‘genius’.
Carat co-ordinated the idea for the video response, it was created and filmed over the weekend by Rubber Republic at Regents Park in London, and Myriad PR seeded the story worldwide. The part of fictional CEO Caroline Williams was brilliantly played by Charlotte Palmer.
In a statement, Yulia Kretova, brand controller for Bodyform said: “We found Richard’s post very amusing and wanted to continue the positive dialogue around periods that this generated. I have worked with the brand for five years and breaking down the taboo around Bodyform and periods has always been a challenge and I hope that we have started to address this. Humour is a great way to talk about sensitive topics, and we were delighted to be given the opportunity to show that as a brand we have a sense of humour and don’t take ourselves too seriously.
“Speed was of the essence and our response was brilliantly PR-ed by Myriad, allowing Bodyform to quickly engage in consumer conversations in a meaningful way.”
Rachael Lake, communications planning manager at Carat, added: “Bodyform’s advertisements have a long, distinguished history that we wanted to build on in our film. Our carefully crafted response to the Facebook post is deliberately playful and uses video to present a humorous and spirited take on an often slightly taboo subject.”
And Rubber Republic’s response? “It has been an absolute pleasure to work with the mighty Carat and Bodyform who have been fun, fearless and fantastic throughout the project and we’ve all learned a valuable lesson. Periods are pretty funny.”
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