Through New Year’s on Creativity, we’ll be counting down the best work and ideas of the year in various categories: TV/Film/Branded Content, Print/Out of Home/Design/Experiential and Digital/Integrated.
At No. 6 in TV/Film, Essity’s Libresse continued to defy fem-care marketing taboos with this joyous, celebratory ad feature an array of singing “vulvas,” represented as conch shells, fortune cookies, papayas and more. While promoting the brand’s body wash line, the ad also serves as a commentary on the increasingly popular trend of “designer vaginas” and aims to encourage women to love their privates just as they are. Directed by Somesuch’s Kim Gehrig, the spot follows Libresse’s Grand Prix-winning “Blood Normal” film, which also appeared on this list last year.
Libresse has followed up its ground-breaking ads about menstruation, which include the Cannes Grand Prix-winning Blood Normal, with a film tackling an even more taboo subject: female genitalia.
Its latest ad, Viva La Vulva, is being released first in Sweden and Denmark promoting Libresse's V-Care range of body washes, liners and wipes in the Nordics. Directed by Kim Gehrig of Somesuch for AMV BBDO, it features an array of vulva-like shapes and imagery singing to a reworked version of Camille Yarbrough's "Take Yo Praise."
Throughout, it packs in such an incredible array of vulva references, from oysters to purses to sock puppets, grapefruits and medieval hallways, that you'll be entertained, amused and awed by the end of the three minute film. There are some truly hilarious moments (such as a singing camel toe in a woman's crotch, or a plastic doll that suddenly realizes in horror that she doesn't have any genitalia). But Libresse has a serious point: in a world of "designer vaginas," the film also shows girls examining their own genitalia and aims to get young women to love their vulva, whatever shape and size it comes in.
According to studies cited by Libresse, in 2016 there was a 46% rise in labiaplasty procedures and requests for a "designer vagina" have doubled in the last five years for the U.K.’s National Health Service. Its own research shows that over half of women feel pressure for their vulva looking a certain way and almost half of them (44%) have felt embarrassed by the way their vulva naturally looks, smells or feels. What's more, an astonishing 68% of women don’t technically know what their own vulva is, with one in four completely unaware that no two vulvas should look exactly the same.