afaqs! news bureau

Stayfree addresses taboos around periods in latest campaign

The Daughter’s Day campaign urges men to be involved in period conversations with their daughters.

Young girls need to grow up in a world where periods are treated as normal. Even today, conversations about periods in India are shrouded in secrecy, replete with myths and misinformation. Women usually are the primary source of information for their young daughters, and generations of conditioning around menstruation continues to influence their approach and thinking towards periods.

Stayfree has observed that men somehow are never a part of this crucial conversation with their daughters. So, when this key parenting partner is absent at such an important juncture, the subliminal message to the daughter is that it is a taboo topic, only to be had with certain people, thereby affecting her confidence.

Stayfree recently launched a Daughter’s Day campaign, which urges men to be involved in period conversations with their daughters. The campaign brings to light the discomfort men feel in having a conversation on menstrual periods with their daughters – even though it is one of the most critical conversations of her growing-up years.

Stayfree called for auditions for a Daughter’s Day ad, but none of the people who showed up, knew that it was an ad for the brand. When handed the script, they fumbled, stammered and stuttered their way through the subject of periods, but with each take, the conversations got easier – until at some point, they didn’t need the script at all. It stopped being an audition and became a conversation, instead.

This campaign builds on Stayfree’s award-winning campaign from 2020 – ‘It’s just a Period’, and stands testament to the brand’s mission to normalise period conversations in India.

Talking about the ad, Manoj Gadgil, vice president marketing, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Division, India, said, “Stayfree has always stood for enabling a healthy relationship between a girl and her periods – be it through our products or thought-provoking campaigns. Normalising period conversations is core to what Stayfree stands for. Through our new Daughter’s Day Campaign, we encourage parents, fathers in particular, to let go of the awkwardness and have a conversation with their daughters on menstrual periods, one frank chat at a time.”

Pallavi Chakravarti, creative head – west, DDB Mudra, added, "My mom spoke to me about my periods. That’s how it has been for generations. As part of Stayfree's agenda to normalise periods, we realised that as long as just moms were speaking about the subject, we'd never achieve what we set out to do. But making dads have 'the talk' with their daughters is easier said than done. So, we didn't convince them. We just put them in a situation where they'd have to get over their apprehensions and get on with being a parent."

Stayfree is also walking the talk by providing resources to parents, who want to have this conversation, via 'Stayfree Periodshala Digital Masterclasses'. It is an informative one-hour session co-created by Stayfree and Menstrupedia (an NGO involved in creating menstrual awareness through engaging educational material). Last year, on Daughter's Day, more than 400 families participated in these sessions to equip and prepare themselves to have this kind of conversation.

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