SCA: 'Bodyform Responds: The Truth'
Bodyform were a category number two brand and had often talked about wanting to act more like a challenger brand. But it had never really seemed possible in such a commoditised and low-interest FMCG sector. One way could be by adopting what they referred to as “honest, more upfront communications” but they were not sure of how to do this in social media due to potential sensitivities in this channel.
But when Carat saw a tongue-in-cheek post from a Facebook user that had 20k “likes”it also saw an opportunity to make its challenger brand ambition a reality. We convinced Bodyform that the post’s popularity proved that the world was now ready for humour around the traditionally taboo subject of menstruation. It showed that consumers were fed up of the euphemistic category norms around sanitary towels. Our idea was to harness the momentum of Richard’s post to develop a new, bold and innovative tone for Bodyform.
And in the process create a multi-award winning campaign that took social media by storm.UK
Bodyform had a reputation for innovation and a close relationship with women, including legendary 1980s TV ads that celebrated empowerment. However, it was facing some difficulties. Communications in the category are still restrictive – many UK women’s fashion magazines refuse to carry any feminine care advertising – and it was being outspent and out-traded by its competition.
Our social listening picked up on Richard’s post early and we monitored it closely as his witty but ultimately critical post received over 20K ‘likes’ within just a few days.
Our recommendation was to capitalise on the conversation, creating a funny, shareable video with the same tongue-in-cheek humour of Richard’s original post to officially ‘respond’ and lift the lid on the ‘truth about periods’. Hand-in-hand with a brave client, we devised our response.
Within four days we had assembled a team and written a script. We acted at speed, filming in our office at the weekend and posting the response less than a week after the original post.
In the video fictional Bodyform CEO Caroline Williams addressed Richard directly and explained the history of Bodyform’s advertising, saying it had deliberately misled men because they ‘couldn’t handle the truth’.
We amplified the video through paid-for seeding via YouTube and blogs, ensuring the video was easily discoverable at scale.
The video was instantly adopted into popular culture:
‘Hi Richard’ and ‘Bodyform’ both trended on Twitter on October 16th.
Cultural implications were discussed in TV, press and online around the world.
It was the most viewed video in UK, and the most viewed entertainment content in the world on 18th Oct.
Carat helped challenge and redefine communications of the entire feminine hygiene categoryNicola Coronado SCA Consumer Marketing Director