Client: Essity
Product: Bodyform/Libresse
Title: #wombstories
Media: Online
Country: UK & Europe
Date Of Campaign: July 2020

Background: Bodyform is on a taboo-breaking, truth-telling journey about women’s periods.Wombstories sought to break down the suffocating culture of silence and shame that surrounds women’s intimate experiences. A culture where miscarriage is suffered in isolation when it affects 20% of pregnancies, where endometriosis takes 7.5 years to diagnose because pain isn’t taken seriously, where not wanting children is still deemed shameful for women, and the list goes on.We wanted to replace the vicious circle of silence by a virtuous one of sharing and listening. Because sharing the truth of our bodies isn’t just good for one’s health. It’s good for everyone. But doing it takes bravery. The 26 countries Wombstories launched in are vastly different. In France same sex couples were denied the right to IVF, in some markets even the word Uterus was censored, while blood, miscarriage, child free by choice are all still taboos everywhere.

Idea: Wombstories goes where no one else has gone before. Under women’s skin, into their very womb, daring to show all the unseen, unheard and hidden experiences. It brings it to life through unique wombworlds and wombdwellers, translating the overlooked relationship women have with their uterus into visceral, beautiful metaphors.It started with creative listening - instead of assuming women’s experiences, we dared to ask women how they actually felt. And gave them the tools to express themselves, through projective and metaphorical exercises.And it was designed to be a catalyst for even more listening and sharing. When the film was released - millions of people engaged with it and thousands of them gathered the courage to share personal wombstories, many of which we transformed again into creative outputs and sent back into culture.Bodyform is a challenger brand in feminine care, up against P&G which cannot be outspent. For several years now, the brand platform ‘Live Fearless’ has helped the brand punch above its weight by representing women’s periods and intimate anatomy in groundbreaking, truthful ways. As Bodyform had expanded its portfolio and was expanding its audience - because women don’t stop having periods and vaginas after 30! - the brand needed to restate its purpose and identity to leave women feeling understood.Since Bloodnormal, everyone had been following the trend of showing periods in their true colour. But what no one dared to do was to go much deeper, into women’s most intimate experiences. Because they were too taboo. Too complex. Too raw.Bodyform wanted to address the issue with empathy, beauty, creativity and courage.Wombstories dared to go where no other brand has gone before, into the womb, to bring to life wombworlds and their wombdwellers. The film weaves together multiple storylines and marries animated wombworlds and real life action which is all housed in a cosmic uterus universe. It is a visceral emotional rollercoaster of love and hate, pain and pleasure and the good and the bad. It shows the truth of life with a uterus - that it is never simple. Throughout this bittersweet journey we touch on the unseen, unheard and underrepresented wombstories: the struggle with IVF, the devastation of miscarriage, the choice to remain child free, menopause, the overwhelming pain of endometriosis, the pleasure of sex and the mundane frustrations that come with uteruses and menstruation. And while we show these different experiences it is all stitched together into a single universal story of life with a womb.

Results: By listening and daring to show what we heard, Wombstories has been an exploding cultural bomb. 100 million views.Launched in 26 markets (smashing previous campaign benchmarks)Shared in 132 countries.1.5billion reach (UK)No 1 share of social voice (UK)200% increase in social followers. (UK)Wombstories has sparked millions of conversations giving people the bravery to share their own stories in astonishing depth. Which we turned into more wombstories fuelling more sharing. Wombstories is also making systemic change in the way data is collected on women’s pain, and the way pain is diagnosed. The pain dictionary and medical research “pain report” has been praised by doctors as a powerful tool.Market share increase of 8.1% UK, 14.1% Russia, 9.9% Denmark. Wombstories has been good for the brand. But it has been transformative for women. And for their health and wellbeing.