"Period-proof" underwear brand Thinx is launching its first-ever TV campaign across the U.S. with a spot that imagines a world in which men have periods too.
Created by BBDO New York and directed by Rachel McDonald via Biscuit Films, the film portrays scenarios such as a guy having to ask his friend for a tampon, a young boy telling his father he's just got his first period, a man leaking blood in bed and a locker room scene where a guy has a tampon string hanging out of his underwear. It ends with the line, "If we all had periods, would we be more comfortable talking about them?"
“Our goal was authenticity and empathy,” said Crystal Rix, chief strategy officer of BBDO New York in a statement. “So much of the industry and culture uses ridiculous euphemism to talk about periods. We wanted an honest and sincere attempt to build understanding and empathy for people with periods.”
Thinx, which is the first period-absorbing underwear brand to run a TV campaign, aims to de-stigmatize periods with the spot. It will run on 18 networks across the United States, including: Bravo, E!, Oxygen, BET, MTV, VH1, HGTV, the Food Network, TLC and NBC.
“People with periods are taught from a young age that one of our body’s natural processes is something to be ashamed of, and something we should go to great lengths to conceal," added Maria Molland, CEO of Thinx Inc. "We’re taught to hide our period products in our sleeves on the way to the restroom, and constantly check our clothes for any leaks or stains. In fact, 80% of teens report a negative association with periods, and say they are gross or unsanitary."
"In our first national television campaign, we are imagining the answer to this question: If all people had periods, including cisgender men, would they be normalized?" she added. "Would we be able to talk openly about them, without shame? Half the population does have a period, and we want to broaden the conversation to everyone, no period required.”
The campaign comes as feminine hygiene brands have become increasingly open about periods in their advertising. In Europe, for example, Libresse and AMV BBDO's "Blood Normal," which won the Glass Lion at Cannes in 2018, showed red blood in a period ad for the first time rather than the euphemistic blue liquid used in the past. The brand followed it up with Viva La Vulva, another film that celebrates women's genitals rather than trying to hide them.