What if we lived in a world where female CEOs outnumbered the males in the technology industry? We most definitely wouldn’t still be using coins to operate our tampon dispensers. To fix this seldom spoken about issue, Huge, a global experience agency, launched Hooha: The World’s First Smart Tampon Dispenser on International Women’s Day 2019.
To get the word out about this long-overdue and category changing product, we launched at one of the world’s largest technology-focused festivals: SXSW 2019. Inspired by noticing the outdated, broken, and just plain gross tampon dispensers at high-tech industry conferences such as CES, SXSW, and Cannes we decide to unveil this solution at the center of the problem.
In order to do so, we launched a campaign titled “Innovation Stops Here” to debut the new product machine, showcasing the power of women innovating the technology industry by plastering the city of Austin with posters, stickers, and magnets directing people to learn more about Hooha.
Why hasn’t this very important, purpose-driven machine evolved over the last decade like everything else? The answer is obvious. Our society has gender equality issue, and it’s reflected in every defective, coin-operated, windowless tampon dispenser that's rusting away in bathrooms across America. A lack of women in technology coupled with long-standing period stigma has resulted in an extremely antiquated product, never getting the attention it deserved.
The creative idea for Hooha came from Huge’s fellowship program, an initiative that allows employees in invent and incubate new ideas. Huge senior social marketing manager based in D.C., Stephanie Loffredo pitched her idea to our leadership team and assembled expert colleagues to build a minimal viable product. Over the next several months, the team worked together to unveil Hooha across the globe, with the first product debut at SXSW in Austin TX - again on IWD.
Making the tampons free means that we're taking a stand and believe tampons should be available in public restrooms across the country -- just like toilet paper, soap, and hand dryers. Americans have grown accustomed to expect these things in public restrooms, but not tampons— we don’t think that’s fair. To regulate the amount of free product we give away, we decided that collecting a person’s phone number (essentially their user ID) would be the solution. With the phone number as the control, we engineered Hooha to dispense a tampon to a user at her request once every 24 hours.
Ultimately, access to tampons in public restrooms isn’t a struggle people should be dealing with in 2018. Hooha is our way of acknowledging this issue, as well as the stigma, and then working to solve the problem. Because everyone should have access to a tampon when they need one.
Generated 310M media impressions, 130K social impressions and two live events, including WSJ, Campaign US, and Adweek’s coverage of International Women’s Day.
Unveiled the product by launching a campaign in Austin titled “Innovation Stops Here” -- papered Austin (including streets, airports, convention center, music venues, bars, and restaurants).
Press release distributed on International Women’s Day garnering over 158M impressions.
Placed two Huge speakers on panels in partnership with The Female Quotient to discuss this issue to a broader audience.
Secured coverage in top-tier media resulting in over 160M unique impressions in a single day.
Started an important social conversation around gender inequality in the technology industry resulting in over 130K impressions (+3K net new impressions on Hooha’s Instagram in the first day)
Secured WSJ story to be published discussing the antiquated tampon dispenser industry, and highlights how women in tech fought back with the invention of Hooha.