A messy business

IPA Effectiveness Awards Case Study 2020

Product innovation and product-led communications were failing to drive success for Essity, the global owner of brands such as Libresse and Bodyform UK in the femcare market. Its opportunity was to create brand fame by embracing a purpose of normalising depictions of periods and women’s bodies in advertising and popular culture. Three purpose-led campaigns included ‘Blood Normal’, a film that showed period blood in everyday situations, and ‘Viva La Vulva’, which celebrated that women’s genitals were diverse in appearance. The work attracted widespread coverage and increased client spend. Between 2016 and 2019, in those markets that ran purpose campaigns Essity grew market share twice as fast as those not running them.

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Entering this award has encouraged us to document the journey we have been on over the last seven years in establishing Libresse as a purpose led brand. We now have a huge body of evidence proving the benefits of this approach that we will share with the markets as we continue to roll out more taboo breaking work over the next few years. When we started we had only one market to pilot with us. So once we could show that we can drive fame and grow our brand and business with our purpose-led campaign our geographic scope expanded to 15 countries! Our goal continues to have more markets get behind our taboo-breaking purpose led approach, investing the majority of their media money behind it. This paper will be invaluable in helping to achieve this. I’d like to share it as Best Practice during our next global brand conference. Within Essity, FemCare was the category that has started to embed purpose in everything we do and lead with it. So, my team is asked to share our learnings with the other global brands and it will become one of THE key case studies for our centre of learning and brand-building used as inspiration for our marketers globally. Writing this paper has also exposed the areas we are keen to improve. We’ll use this document to push for greater consistencies across markets in how we approach measurement. We have already begun to look at how we roll out a global framework and we are reviewing a proposal for an econometric model in order to better isolate the effect of specific communications and fine-tune our marketing mix and drive ROI. It really has been a hugely valuable experience and one which we will keep sharing.

Tanja Grubner, Global Marketing & Communications Director FemCare Global Brand, Innovation & Sustainability
Essity FemCare

Winners 2020


A messy business




Essity FemCare



Principal Authors

  • Bridget Angear - AMVBBDO
  • Margaux Revol - AMVBBDO

Contributing Authors

  • Tanja Grubner - Essity
  • Thierry Vanden Berghe - Essity
  • Philip Kitchin - Ipsos
  • Anna Shaw - Zenith Media
  • Beatrice Farmelo - AMVBBDO
  • Sara Abaza - AMVBBDO
  • Sarah Hore-Lacy - AMVBBDO

Credited Companies

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