In boldly challenging the taboos that still surround women’s bodies, Bodyform’s 'Viva La Vulva' campaign has proved the power of marketing to smash through long-established stereotypes.
Managing Editor, BITE
Following on from our taboo-busting #bloodnormal campaign comes our latest piece of work - Viva La Vulva. It is a bold new campaign that celebrates the vulva and fights against the myths, insecurities and stereotypes that women are subjected to when it comes to their genitals.
Stereotypes matter because they provide the framework by which consumers navigate the world around them and can limit both their own expectations and experiences. Research from Bodyform lifted the lid on the stereotypes and toxic narratives which have run through the intimate care category for years. According to their insight, 68% of women couldn’t properly identify their vulva; 44% were embarrassed by how it looked, and 57% believed their vulva should look a certain way, so much so that labiaplasty procedures and ‘designer vagina’ surgeries were on the increase.
In this ecosystem of embarrassment and shame, AMV BBDO’s 'Viva la Vulva' ad for Bodyform, which was at its essence a love-song to vulvas, was nothing short of genre-defying. The haul of awards and accolades that the work picked up this week in Cannes also serve as a timely reminder of the global firepower of great British creativity.
AMV BBDO picked up a Gold and a Silver Lions for Creative Strategy, alongside PR agency Ketchum. The ad agency also picked up a Gold Lion in the Health and Wellness category for the work. That the campaign has picked up seven Lions in total at time of writing is testament to its long-term impact on the industry.
Sharing the grit and determination that went into the campaign at Creative Equal’s RISE event earlier this year, Nadja Lossgott, Creative Director at AMV BBDO, shared how hard the team fought to get the work made and maintain the integrity of the creative career. She explained, “The client was ready to lose her job over it. When you want to break taboos, you have to be prepared to lose something.”
Yet as this week in Cannes underlines, when you break taboos brilliantly, with creative excellence and integrity, you can, and should, win big.