By now you've probably already seen "Viva La Vulva," AMV BBDO's trippy latest spot for pantyliner brand Libresse in Sweden and Denmark.
Like Berlei's "Womankind," Janelle Monáe's "PYNK" music video and Libresse and sister brand Bodyform's own "Blood Normal" campaign, there's a flagrant glee in the work, which features various vulva stand-ins—seashells, oysters, coin purses—lip-syncing Camille Yarbrough's "Take Yo Praise."
See it here:
Some months ago, Libresse conducted a study on how women feel about their Holy Grails, finding that over half feel pressure to make their vulvas look a certain way. One in four didn't know that no two vulvas look exactly alike. Some 44 percent feel embarrassed about how it looks, smells or feels; meanwhile, 68 percent don't even technically know what the vulva is.
Few things are more ironic than a "feminine care" brand taking on the mantle of correcting this travesty. Libresse punts intimate soap, pantyliners and wipes, thus cashing in on those complexes specifically: You need special soap for your especially dirty vag, pantyliners are of little use besides protecting panties from dreaded taint, and wipes ... well. Nothing says "I'm trying to keep a lid on my inner nasty" than carrying your own vag-specific Wet-Ones.
No hate; we use plenty of these products ourselves, and sometimes all three, depending on our level of safely euphemized loathing that week. It's gonna take a lot to just let our conch shells hang loose.
But in the meantime, let's appreciate the moment we're in. One where an ad like this has many sisters in pop culture. One where women can be visibly excited about stuff like this without having to tone it down for the dong-waggers. One where "Viva La Vulva" can come out, gleeful in its sly subversiveness—a fuck-you can be felt in the dark pleasure of making your camel toes sing.
Because this isn't about Libresse; this is about women. And while it's only natural for a brand to seize upon a relevant movement, we too can use brands to fuel our fires.
Title: Viva la Vulva
Agency: AMV BBDO
Campaign: Viva la Vulva