Bodyform hit it out of the park with a storming blood-stained advert last year, shunning the standard rollerblader dressed in all-white in favour of strong women showing exactly how “no blood should hold us back”.
But while it made waves, the brand’s Red.fit ad stopped short of depicting period blood itself – unlike the latest offering, which is attempting to normalise menstruation as, y’know, a hell of a lot of people on the planet experience it.
As part of its #bloodnormal campaign, Bodyform depicts period blood in a few ways in the short film, showing red liquid dripped onto a sanitary towel, a woman dressed as a stained pad and blood dripping down someone’s leg in the shower.
The YouTube caption states, “Contrary to popular belief, women don’t bleed blue liquid, they bleed blood.”
Additionally, to combat the idea that having a period is something to hide – scurrying to the bathroom with tampons up your sleeve and never, ever mentioning it in earshot of the opposite sex – a young man is shown purchasing pads from a shop. Not hidden in a basket full of unnecessary groceries, or furtively flung onto the till, just picked up from the shelf and bought. Fancy that.
While some may think there’s no need to show red blood, citing adverts that don’t show the realistic contents of a nappy, for instance, the usage is intended to combat the “period taboo”, something that genuinely affects many.
The video is released alongside recent research from Bodyform exploring the unnecessary shame around menstruation, in which one in five women questioned said their confidence was damaged because periods weren’t discussed with them openly, and 87% of young girls said they had gone to “great lengths” to hide the fact they were on their period, with many stating it wasn’t something they felt comfortable mentioning to their parents.
Traci Baxter, marketing manager at Bodyform, said: “We know that the period taboo is damaging. It means people are more likely to struggle with the effects of period poverty, whilst others struggle with their mental health and wellbeing.
“As a leader in feminine hygiene, we want to change this by challenging the taboo and ultimately removing the stigma, making it even easier for anyone to talk about periods, now and in the future.”
To that end, the brand is running free educational classes for schools, which will tackle mental health and self-esteem issues as well as the silence around the realities of periods.
The advert won’t be shown on TV, aiming instead to prompt discussion online.
In March this year, it was revealed that the government was looking into providing free tampons for school-age girls skipping classes due to not being able to afford sanitary products, while in July, Scotland became the first country to hand out free products to low-income women.
For more information about the campaign, visit bodyform.co.uk/bloodnormal.