Please rotate, it'll work better.
The Ideas Lab: Periods
The Ideas Lab: Periods

Periods have long been a taboo subject (until 1972, sanitary products couldn’t be advertised on TV in the UK), and that taboo has not completely vanished. Undermining that taboo status, as well as raising the issue of period poverty are the subjects of this edition of the Ideas Lab.

Tampon manufacturers responded to their new freedoms with studiedly coy commercials (the word period’ wasn’t used until 1985), showing women wearing white with happy abandon.

This US ad for Kimberley Clark in 2010 makes fun of the coyness that was still mandatory then.

And here is Bodyform memorably mocking its own advertising.


No such approach from these campaigning ads:


Bloody Good Period: #NoShameHere

The technique used here is animation, which allows for even more fun to be had with squeamishness about depicting periods. Campaign group Bloody Good Period leave you in no doubt about their view.


See Red

This is similarly uncompromising, this time about period poverty. It uses a clever idea to expose the inconsistent approach which creates health and other inequalities.


Hey Girl: Seeing Red

This ad for social enterprise Hey Girl, is deliberately designed to make you angry about period poverty, also using the wordplay of Seeing Red. It succeeds.

The Ideas Lab examines what makes effective (or ineffective) communications in the fields of causes, charities and socially-oriented businesses.

Michael Isaacs

Cause & Effect: Gemma Sherrington

Gemma Sherrington is Executive Director of Fundraising and Marketing at Save the Children UK,... Read more

Thanks for the memories

The procedure required an anaesthetic, William had a reaction to it, but the dentist... Read more

Cause & Effect: Natasha Giraudel

Natasha Giraudel is Marketing and Brand Manager for the homelessness charity, Crisis. After 12... Read more