Everyone has blind spots. We all go about doing things everyday out of habit and accepting things as they are without being aware if they are REAL or NOT. Sanitary pad ads with girls wearing white, laughing and skipping proves the blind spot notion that women aren’t at all affected by their periods, even if there’s a torrential menstrual waterfall and stain scares.
Which is why Libresse launched the ‘Let’s Get Real’ campaign to raise awareness and trigger women to rethink what is depicted as “realities” in sanitary pad ads as well as their period experiences. The campaign also gives women a platform to start the conversation on the topic which breaks myths of it being a taboo subject.
Using a series of online polls which attracted more than 5,000 respondents, Libresse shines a spotlight on honest consumer insights that acknowledge the challenges and hardships women encounter on their periods.Based on these results, the campaign paves the way for more relevant communication and more realistic representations of what women go through.
The common features shown in sanitary pad ads today is a flurry of girls laughing, dancing or skipping around with joy, girls wearing white like period stains aren’t a thing, girls waking up bright and cheerful and even being super active with sports during the time of the month?
Obviously, these scenarios aren’t familiar with any of us who go through periods because well, every woman has a tale to tell about her period experience, and it can be very different from how it’s portrayed. In fact, nine out of 10 respondents feel that most sanitary pad ads are missing the mark. But if the ads aren’t realistic, then what is?
“The period experience is different for every woman – while some lucky few are not affected at all, most women are affected in some way so it would be good for ads to be more relevant. After all, when a woman is feeling tired, in pain from cramps and not sleeping well, we are not going to be cheerful or energetic,” says special celebrity guest Adibah Noor.
“While we don’t let it get in our way, our period experience is definitely not fun. So why should it be presented that way?”
Popular vlogger Shazreen Fazlynda agrees – “I never really questioned femcare ads before, but once I did, all the misrepresentations jumped out at me because my reality is far different! As a mom, my usual day involves rushing around between shoots and meetings with my baby in tow, regardless of cramps or tiredness.”
Supporting the effort to raise awareness on period misrepresentation, Shazreen has produced a video which aims to bring the ‘Let’s Get Real’ message to life.
But, hey, life goes on…women don’t let it get in the way of their responsibilities –seven in 10 women would go on to have a normal day or carry on as best they can, regardless of how they feel.
Nobody exemplifies this better than Petrina Thong, a 29-year-old Malaysian woman who embarked on a solo 13-month trip across 22 countries with only RM800 to her name. “I believe in questioning and breaking conventions, and I think it’s great for Libresse to raise awareness about sanitary pad ads – we should definitely take a second look and think about what’s being portrayed,” says Petrina.
While women know how to work their way around period discomforts, it seems that nine out of 10 women agree that pad ads should be more realistic.
Faye Yong, Marketing Director for Southeast Asia (Feminine Products), relates that consumers across Asia are becoming more discerning about the brands they use. According to research, today’s consumer wants brands that have character and personality; brands that build connections and tell relevant stories; brands that break down walls of misinformation, ignorance and inefficiencies. And as consumers, we’re on board with those findings.
Speak up about your period experience with Libresse and join the ‘Let’s Get Real’ campaign advocates to kick-start honest and accurate representations of what women go through. Share your thoughts on sanitary pad ads on Libresse Malaysia’s Facebook page here.