The femcare category is notoriously conservative. On the one hand, brands enforce the status quo with their ‘blue liquid demonstrations’ and on the other hand, [we] refuse to talk about femcare on platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
It’s really quite taboo to talk about anything related to vaginas and to even say the V-word out loud. The result is that women don’t learn about every day vaginal care, resulting in embarrassment, shame, and the perpetuation of myths and even healthcare problems.
Time For Change
In this information age, it’s time for credible, relevant content to be delivered to [women] in a way they find most engaging. And when it comes to femcare, that means ditching traditional, awkward TV spots in favour of interesting vagina care information delivered in a light-hearted manner that women can watch in their own time on the devices they choose.
The idea of the ‘world’s first’ Vagina Varsity was born, where women, young and old, can learn about their bodies in a private, safe setting, guided by professionals. The Vagina Varsity course is a mix of short video content and bonus material in email format, covering everything from anatomy to discharge to contraception, and when to see a doctor.
Psychosexual consultant Avri Spilka provided all the educational material used in the campaign; the quirky Anne Hirsch scripted and directed all the video content, and YouTube sensation ‘Pap Culture’ are adding some ‘real talk’ as fearless presenters.
Denese Pillay, marketing manager of Libresse sanitary-ware says, “As a brand we were asking people to live fearless but we needed to act fearless first. We’ve made in-roads at school-level with talks delivered to young girls about period care but we wanted to do something bigger – start a movement.”
About The Campaign
Pillay says, “This campaign will push boundaries and upset the status quo. Our aim is to empower and educate women of all ages. So next year we will be taking this course into schools and supplementing the information with product. We’re committing to spend R500 000 in the first quarter of 2017 to help keep girls in school.”
Strategic planner at Net#work BBDO, Kerry Hibberd, says, “Talking about your vagina, and even saying vagina, is still embarrassing for millions of women in SA and around the world. But that doesn’t mean women aren’t interested in that part of their body. The most visited pages on our website are the FAQ pages. And in consumer research groups – the women all start out shy when we introduce vaginal care topics but once they realise they are in a safe space, you can’t stop them. The same is true for our school talks. Women of all ages want the information we have – they just don’t want it on traditional channels in old-fashioned ways.”
“Most women only knew what was once told to them by their mother, sister or friend at school. We don’t want to replace those conversations – we want to spark, inform and enrich them.”
Dr Mpume Simelane, a gynaecologist based at Leratong Hospital, says, “The Libresse approach is on point, the audience is ready for a bold campaign like this. I’ve worked with girls and women for many years and this campaign answers the questions they are asking… in a trusted, honest fashion.”
How To Register For Vagina Varsity
- Register for free on www.vaginavarsity.co.za with your name and email address.
- Receive the welcome mailer detailing the course contents.
- Get super-short videos delivered to your inbox for a month.
- Move from a vagina-haver to a vagina-expert with simple weekly quizzes.
- Follow the conversation using #vaginavarsity.