U by Kotex aims to end the period stigma

Feminine care brand launches #ItsNotMyPeriod campaign

U By Kotex is doing more than selling pads and tampons with its latest campaign. The feminine care brands wants to “challenge the myth” that women feel and behave a certain way because of their periods, not because of who they are.

The brand released an online video of a “social experiment” that challenges the stigmas surrounding menstruation. Men and women were invited to watch a live performance in Toronto, and then were asked which of the women in the scene had her period.

They pinpointed the one who “lost her temper,” was “bossy” and “bitchy,” and “the one who was more agitated, angrier.” When asked to say who is the leader, they named the same woman, calling her “passionate” and someone with “clear, concise ideas.”

The women in the group then talked about their own experiences with period stigma, and the spot ends with the message, “It’s Me #ItsNotMyPeriod.”

A second video further drives home the message that women’s emotions, attitudes or opinions should never be discredited as “that time of the month.”

The campaign asks consumers to declare what really defines them by making a statement on the brand’s website and sharing online using #itsnotmyperiod. An example on the site is: “It’s my reaction to you, #ItsNotMyPeriod.”

“We’re trying to evolve the brand to having more of a conversation, speaking to women and helping bring them together to drive change,” said Leslie Mackay, director of brand marketing, sales strategy and shopper marketing at Kimberly-Clark, in an interview with Marketing.

“U by Kotex has always been a brand that tells it like it is, but this is an opportunity to call something out and give [the consumer] a voice, allow her to participate with the brand, be part of something and to make a difference.”

The idea for the campaign came from Ogilvy Colombia and was brought to life by Ogilvy & Mather Toronto. “We are partners with Ogilvy globally and each of their regions put forth different ideas and the one from Colombia rose to the top,” said Mackay.

“The insight that inspired this campaign is a global one – we unknowingly contribute to the PMS myth by using periods to discredit a woman’s emotions, attitude, or opinion,” said Ian MacKellar, chief creative officer at Ogilvy & Mather Toronto, in a release. “By challenging the myth, we can unite the conversation in a more positive tone so women are no longer defined by their periods.”

Mindshare is handling the media planning and buying and Veritas Communications is handling PR. The videos are supported on the brand’s social and web properties as well as through digital ads.

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