To ensure that girls don't go through this alone, the campaign wants their family members to freely initiate conversations around periods.
We've seen a lot of firsts during the national lockdown, like virtual convocation ceremonies and even marriages, and first day at work, but from home. But, there's another first that seems to have gone unnoticed: Periods.
Stayfree says that over two million girls will get their first period during lockdown. Unfortunately, people still hesitate to talk about it in the open, and this has led to the natural body phenomenon entering the unwarranted list of 'taboo' items.
The new Stayfree ad 'It's Just a Period' from DDB Mudra features a woman who feels ashamed to change her sanitary pads because her home has just one bathroom. There's a man who says that he has to hide the pad in the dustbin every time.
All the people in the ad are like the members of a typical Indian family: Parents, siblings, and grandparents, and each one of them illustrate the pain and struggle a woman goes through during her periods. So, imagine what a young girl goes through when she gets periods for the first time, with things being explained to her in hushed tones, as if it's something wrong and dirty.
Manoj Gadgil, VP marketing, Johnson & Johnson consumer division, India, says, “This World Menstrual Hygiene Day is a reminder to us all that the onus of normalising the first-period experience for every young girl lies with all of us. And during pandemics, when she doesn’t have access to her teachers for information, families can, and must, play the most important role in this.”
“It is just a first step towards creating that awareness, and Stayfree is committed to helping young girls and their families in this journey,” he added.
Shagun Seda, creative head, DDB Mudra West said, "There’s a lot of cultural baggage around periods in India. Period stigma has been perpetuated through generations with mothers handing down period shame to their daughters.
So when a girl enters menarche, she usually turns to confidantes like her teacher and school friends instead of her mother or family members. But because of the lockdown, her first period experience will be a lonely one at home, with no one to talk to, and no place to hide."
"With this campaign, we want to encourage families that the first step in normalizing periods is to have an open conversation about it. To demonstrate this, we came up with the idea that her period is not hers alone, it’s everyone’s period," she added
Stayfree's last ad was eight months ago, and it featured professional badminton player PV Sindhu.
During lockdown, we've seen different ad themes for women. Each bringing out those hidden unseen realities of the times we're living in. There was an ad about the rise in domestic violence during lockdown. Then, we saw an interesting Facebook ad on childbirth during lockdown, which was narrated by a 1920 flu pandemic survivor.
Client- Johnson & Johnson
Creative- Rahul Mathew, Shagun Seda, Vinay Singh, Tushar Sawant, Yash Ambre, Tanya Agarwal, Ruchira Pal
Business Management- Nikita Tambay, Megha Jaiswal, Rashmi Varma
Strategy- Toru Jhaveri, Sanchari Chakrabarti, Nandan Majumdar
Films- Meenaz Lala