How Libresse got us talking about vulvas

Feminine hygiene brand Libresse showed us what good advertising is all about with Viva La Vulva. As a part of our Annual 2019 coverage, we look at what made the campaign so successful and its place in the wider discourse on women’s rights

In 2017, feminine hygiene brand Libresse, owned by Essity and known as Bodyform in the UK, put itself on the map with a campaign called #BloodNormal. Created by AMVBBDO, this spot won applause for showing realistic looking red blood instead of picturing the blue mystery substance that’s long been the TV version of a period. For breaking the norm and daring to correct the wrong, Libresse positioned itself as a risktaker in the sector.

The honest depiction of a woman’s period – a women asking a friend for a pad at a dinner table, the pain of cramps, blood tricking down a leg – was met with a resounding “Yes! Finally!” by consumers, the media and award schemes. The brand has taken a similarly provocative stance in other markets as well, their 2018 Men-struation campaign for Malaysia urged men to understand periods better, releasing a series of videos educating men about things like the different type of sanitary products available or how to support a woman on a period.