This week, Libresse launched their ‘Let’s Get Real’ campaign to raise awareness and encourage women to rethink the reality depicted in sanitary pad ads, as well as their period experiences. Think about it: all the women skipping around in joy, laughing and dancing while wearing all-white outfits? How realistic can that even be?

This campaign gives women a platform to start conversation on the topic while dispelling the myth of it being a taboo subject. Using a series of online polls that attracted more than 5000 respondents, Libresse brings you honest consumer insights that acknowledge the challenges and hardships women encounter during their period. Based on these results, the campaign looks to pave the way for more relevant communication and a more realistic representation of what women go through.

So, what are some common features shown in sanitary pad ads today?  Poll respondents say these are what they usually see:

 

  • Girls laughing, dancing or skipping around with joy
  • Girls wearing white or light coloured clothing
  • Girls waking up bright and cheerful
  • Girls being super active and doing sports

The sad part is that nine out of ten respondents feel that most sanitary pad ads are missing the mark.

Between the physical and emotional discomfort, three symptoms topped the list: mood swings, cramps and bloating. “The period experience is different for every woman – while some lucky few are not affected at all, most women are affected in some way so it would be good for ads to be more relevant. After all, when a woman is feeling tired, in pain from cramps and not sleeping well, we are not going to be cheerful or energetic,” said celebrity guest Adibah Noor. “While we don’t let it get in our way, our period experience is definitely not fun. So why should it be presented that way?”

Vlogger Shazreen Fazlynda agreed – “I never really questioned femcare ads before, but once I did, all the misrepresentations jumped out at me because my reality is far different! As a mom, my usual day involves rushing around between shoots and meetings with my baby in tow, regardless of cramps or tiredness.”  Supporting the effort to raise awareness on period misrepresentation, Shazreen has produced a video which aims to bring the ‘Let’s Get Real’ message to life. The video can be viewed on her YouTube channel as well as the Libresse Malaysia Facebook page.

So, do women do any of these when they get their period?

  • Skip around with joy – 78% said they “feel lethargic and don’t want to move at all”;
  • Choose to wear white – 78% said “no”, while most women (98%) claim they would feel “mortified or at least feel self-conscious when they get stains during the day”;
  • Feel like being a social butterfly – more than half of the respondents would rather be alone or only prefer the company of close friends during this time;
  • What about doing some serious exercising? Over half of the respondents (55%) choose to do light activities like yoga or skip any form of exercise completely;
  • Sleep soundly – eight out of 10 women report disturbed sleep caused by period discomforts.

That being said, most women don’t let it get in the way of their responsibilities – seven in 10 women would go on to have a normal day or carry on as best they can, regardless of how they feel.

To be honest, a great example is Petrina Thong, a 29-year-old Malaysian woman who embarked on a solo 13-month trip across 22 countries with only RM800 to her name. “I believe in questioning and breaking conventions, and I think it’s great for Libresse to raise awareness about sanitary pad ads – we should definitely take a second look and think about what’s being portrayed,” said Petrina.

While women know how to work their way around period discomforts, it seems that nine out of 10 women agree that pad ads should be more realistic.

On top of this, Faye Yong, Marketing Director for Southeast Asia (Feminine Products), relates that consumers across Asia are becoming more discerning and demanding about the brands they use. According to research*, today’s consumer wants brands that have character and personality; brands that build connections and tell relevant stories; brands that break down walls of misinformation, ignorance and inefficiencies.

Speak up about your period experience with Libresse and join the ‘Let’s Get Real’ campaign advocates to kickstart honest and accurate representations of what women go through. Share your message with other women on www.facebook.com/LibresseMalaysia

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