Top Spot of the Week: AMV BBDO, Director Nisha Ganatra, Framestore Tell #wombstories For Bodyform & Libresse

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Robert Goldrich
Wednesday, Jul. 1, 2020

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Essity, global hygiene and health company and owner of Bodyform, Libresse, Nana, Nuvenia, Saba and Nosotras, is committed to breaking the taboos that hold women back and creating a more understanding world. With the award-winning #BloodNormal campaign in 2017, Bodyform & Libresse tackled the stigma around periods, turning blue liquid red and showing period blood as it really is. With Viva La Vulva in 2018, singing vulvas called out the toxic myth of the perfect vulva.

In 2020, Bodyform & Libresse have created their boldest campaign to date, confronting a damaging etiquette that women live with every day, one which dictates what they should – and shouldn’t – feel about their bodies.

With #wombstories, Bodyform & Libresse push back against the single, simplistic narrative girls are taught from a young age: start your period in adolescence, repeat with “a bit” of pain, want a baby, get pregnant, have more periods, stop periods, fade into the menopausal background.                                         

The reality is, of course, much messier, but society doesn’t encourage women to talk openly about the highs and lows of their intimate health, especially in times of global uncertainty. A new research study of women and men by Bodyform & Libresse found that two thirds of women who experienced miscarriage, endometriosis, fertility issues and menopause said that being open with family and friends helped them cope.

With #wombstories from agency AMV BBDO in London, Bodyform & Libresse want to encourage an open culture where everyone can express what they go through without fearing they won’t be properly heard or believed and without feeling shame that they are somehow less than what they were taught to be. The pleasure, the pain, the love, the hate. It’s never simple but it all needs to be heard. Because keeping it in or leaving it unheard comes at an emotional and physical cost both at an individual and collective level.                                           

For #wombstories, Bodyform & Libresse worked with Golden Globe winning and Emmy-nominated director, writer and producer Nisha Ganatra, a predominantly female crew and an all-women team of animators and illustrators who have imagined the life of wombs. Ganatra directs via Chelsea Pictures. Framestore provided animation and live-action visual effects.

From the burning down apartment of a peri-menopausal woman, a monster ripping at an endometriosis sufferer’s uterus, a woman’s ‘flood gate’ moment during her period and an unexpected sneeze, to the woman who has chosen not to have children and the often-turbulent journey of trying to conceive. These few womb stories chronicle the sometimes beautiful, sometimes brutal human side of the biology and physiology they experienced every day. And while only a handful of experiences are shown, they represent the billions of complex experiences--from hysterectomies, postpartum trauma, artificial menopause, being a trans-man, the list is long.

Ganatra said, “When they’re at their best, our bodies are incredible machines that give us pleasure, and, if we want them to, help us propagate the human race. But they don’t always work. Hell, they don’t often work. Irregular periods. Endometriosis. Miscarriages and infertility. Our bodies can bring joy but also pain and devastation. It’s an emotional rollercoaster that lasts a lifetime. I feel particularly drawn to this project. The work I feel most passionate about is the work that meaningfully resists outmoded social norms that no longer fit the cultural moment but persist, nonetheless. When my daughter is an adult, it shouldn’t just be acceptable for a woman to have ownership over her body and over her narrative. It shouldn’t just be acceptable for people to be who they want and to love who they want and to choose not to have children if they want. This should be the norm.”                 

Nicola Coronado, UK and Ireland consumer marketing director at Bodyform, commented, “With #wombstories we are starting a movement. We want to boldly go where no other brand has been before; inside women’s bodies and emotions to truly represent their sensations and feelings that we believe are not only invisible but ignored, overlooked or denied. #wombstories reveals the narrative inside and out and we hope to put these topics on the table for all to talk about. We believe that only once we understand women’s bodies and everything they go through; can we care for them with our period and daily intimate care products.”

#wombstories will encourage open conversation so that nobody will have to hide the sometimes difficult, sometimes painful realities of their bodies.

Nadja Lossgott, executive creative director of AMV BBDO and art director on the campaign, said, “Periods don’t just exist in isolation. They are connected to this entire ecosystem centered around our wombs, which almost acts as a second seat of power that rules us in such profound ways. We have this intensely complicated relationship with it. And yet this life-long bittersweet journey with our bodies is still considered something to shut up about.  By visualizing and anthropomorphising our wombs, we can begin to open up an emotional and human way to express these often complicated, contradictory feelings of love and hate, of pain and pleasure, of the mundane and the profound we constantly deal with.”

Credits

Client Libresse & Bodyform (owned by Essity) Agency AMV BBDO, London Alex Grieve, chief creative officer; Nadja Lossgott, Nicholas Hulley, executive creative directors; Toby Allen, Jim Hilson, creative directors; Edwina Dennison, TV producer; Lucia Fioravanti, assistant TV producer; Fiona Bailey, art production. Production Chelsea Pictures, bicoastal Nisha Ganatra, director; Shanah Blevins, producer; Lisa Mehling, president/exec producer; Pat McGoldrick, exec producer; Natasha Braier, DP; Mario Kerkstra, design; Adam Hinton, photographer.. Editorial Trim Editing, London Elise Butt, editor. Audio 750mph Sam Ashwell, sound engineer. Music Priestess Shura Remix by Pumarosa Animation, VFX & Color Framestore London Sharon Lock, creative director animation; Haein Kim, Carine Khalife, Salla Lehmus at Soja, Roos Mattaar, Kate Isobel Scott at Everyone Agency, Laura Jayne Hodkin at Strange Beast, Annie Wong, Aylin Ohri, Meagan Elemans, Molly Grace Lawton, Georgie Wilemore, Nella Addy, animators; Tri Do, comp lead; Simon Stoney, compositor; Lee Matthews, digital matte painting; Tim Greenwood, Flame; Simon Bourne, colorist; Emma Cook, VFX producer; Niamh O’Donohoe, design sr. producer. uliet Lock, creative director animation; Haein Kim, Carine Khalife, Salla Lehmus at Soja, Roos Mattaar, Kate Isobel Scott at Everyone Agency, Laura Jayne Hodkin at Strange Beast, Annie Wong, Aylin Ohri, Meagan Elemans, Molly Grace Lawton, Georgie Wilemore, Nella Addy, animators; Tri Do, comp lead; Simon Stoney, compositor; Lee Matthews, digital matte painting; Tim Greenwood, Flame; Simon Bourne, colorist; Emma Cook, VFX producer; Niamh O’Donohoe, design sr. producer. (Toolbox: Photoshop, Nuke, Houdini, Flame, oil paint on glass, stop-motion using models made of fabric over metal armatures)

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