Client: Essity
Product: Tena Women
Title: #ageless
Media: TV, OLV, social, activations, media partnership
Country: UK & Europe
Date Of Campaign: March 2020 - November 2020

Background: 1 in 3 women experience incontinence in their lives. In later life, it can destroy confidence and mental wellbeing. This is further eroded by sexism and ageism in culture. Remarkably, in 2021, outdated attitudes remain in relation to older women. In France, novelist Yann Moix recently said “the body of a 50 year-old women is not extraordinary at all”. Cultural pressure still expects women to maintain body perfection past their 50s. The phrase ‘bien dans mon age’, which translates as ‘well in my age’, is more focused on appearance than wellbeing.

Idea: TENA set out to fight back - dismantling the negative stereotypes around older women. And first and foremost was intimacy; the ultimate cultural blind spot when it comes to the portrayal of older women, whose sex lives are either ignored or written off as non-existent; feeding the narrative that sex has a sell by date. So, we focused on the last taboo: older age intimacy. We used sex and intimacy as a provocative way in, creating a suite of work that ripped up the rule book when it came to portraying the subject.TENA is known for making products that work. However, the brand had some strong associations that weren’t helping. Medical, old fashioned, unflattering, bulky. Instead of taking the lazy route of casting younger women in order to make our brand feel ‘more modern’, we adopted a more purposeful and inclusive approach; challenging the stigma of old age, as well as the physical changes it can involve. If we could help older women feel better about their bodies, we could help create a more open conversation around incontinence. In doing that, we’d help them feel better about the brand too. #Ageless is a campaign of provocative age-positive activations. We created a sex toy for the over 50s with Femtech brand Je Joue. It not only gave pleasure, but strengthened the pelvic floor, helping to reduce incontinence. We partnered with The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media - creating a test to measure the roles for women over 50 in Hollywood. It highlighted the lack of positive roles for older women, with zero women aged 50+ in any leading roles. We dismantled the notion that women over 50 are sexless, with a provocative film to launch our new underwear, a print campaign celebrating real later life intimacy, and a podcast series. For lasting change, we worked with The Women Over Fifty Film Festival, creating opportunities for older women in front of and behind the camera.

Results: #Ageless achieved global PR coverage, sparking conversation beyond target markets. We accomplished our campaign reach benchmark of 4 million, with a 152.6m reach across print, online and broadcast. Our Ageless Test was downloaded 250,000 times. In France, our partnership with Femme Actuelle led to over 30,000 podcast listens. In total, the campaign drove over a million pieces of social engagement. We drove brand reappraisal across all key metrics, with perception of TENA as a ‘modern and contemporary brand for me’ achieving a 23% uplift. Most importantly, we increased women’s belief that incontinence is nothing to be ashamed of with a 20% uplift, and women’s belief that getting older is something to embrace, rather than worry about, with a 26% uplift. In Italy, Ageless was recognised by D of Repubblica as a campaign that changed 2020.

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