Let's face it: No one likes talking about menstruation. But two videos that have gone viral are emphasizing the ugly, uncomfortable, and often disguised reality of every woman's dreaded time of the month. Apparently, women appreciate the honesty.
Think of your average feminine care product ad. It's most likely a campaign by Tampax Pearl or Always that portrays energetic, enthusiastic, and fun women being active jogging on the beach or doing flips off a diving board. Now, think of your period. There's a glaring disparity between how brands attempt to portray menstruation and the reality of that unfortunate time of the month.
Feminine care companies attempt to glorify their products that are sold for a rather unappealing purpose. The truth is that these ads never depict the realities that females associate with that time of the month such as moodiness, breaking out, or feeling lethargic and bloated. Of course, they depict beautiful landscapes, a walk in the park, or a vacation at the beach rather than the scene of the crime: the bathroom.
Women are always fed up by claims that X brand will make their next period feel like a luxury vacation. They want the real picture.
Perhaps that is why the new ad campaign for Hello Flo, a 2-minute segment featuring the "camp gyno" is going viral.
The ad is centered on a young camper, the first of her age to begin menstruating. Equipped with her "red badge of courage," this camper becomes an expert and assumes the role of the "camp gyno." Soon, however, her claim to fame is overshadowed by HelloFlo, the service that runs the camp gyno out of business.
It's easy to see why HelloFlo's ad is becoming so popular. Aside from being humorous, the campaign is also relatable. Most women can remember back to the days when getting your period felt like being marked with the scarlet letter. No teenage girl wants others to know when it's her time of the month, and few girls feel comfortable talking about menstruation.
That's where the "camp gyno" comes in. Unlike other ads that beat around the bush and portray menstruation as something that it's not, HelloFlo's character is open and frank about feminine talk, using "forbidden" words like "vag" and "vagina."
HelloFlo's founder, Naama Bloom, wanted her product's ad to capture the reality of awkward adolescence. "I want moms like me to remember those times fondly, and I want girls going through puberty to be able to laugh about it, rather than find it scary or miserable," she said.
While the "camp gyno" is open about periods, HelloFlo's service ensures that girls can be discreet by delivering the products a woman needs but "with care and appreciation for the sensitivity of this purchase." The service allows women to customize their plan according to their bodies and even includes "some delicious treats" to ease the pain of those few unfortunate days.
The "camp gyno" ad strikes a chord with a second video that went viral in response to Richard Neil's rant over maxipads. The reason for his freak-out was that he learned the truth about female menstruation: that a woman's time of the month does not look anything like the way it is portrayed by popular ads. Bodyform, a maxipad maker, created a response video, apologizing for the false advertising that apparently deceived Richard for so many years.
"I think it's time we came clean," says Caroline Williams, the fictional Maxipad CEO. "We lied to you, Richard, and I want to say sorry. Sorry." At the end of the response, Williams passes gas and asks, "You did know we do that too, right?"
The similarity between these two viral ads is that they treat the topic honestly and humorously. Ladies aren't looking for feminine products that make menstruation look fun and glamorous. They just want ease, comfort, and discretion during that dreaded time of the month. Period.