This Ad Claims It's Time Women Talked About Poop. Then They Do, and Are Censored

When a comedic shtick gets strangely literal

Here's a story you don't see every day, though weirdly, it's about something most of us generally do every day.

For Garden of Life's Dr. Formulated Probiotics for Women, agency Humanaut has launched "Poopowerment," an ad—and surrounding campaign—about how the aforementioned product helps women poop.

Garden of Life | Poopowerment Hero

The crux of the :60 above is about how the time has come to talk about how hard it can be to poop, as a human, but in this case specifically as a woman. The comedy stems from the fact that the narrator—a male voice, who raises the topic in the first place—has more trouble addressing the subject head-on than the women themselves, who sit on toilets in various settings and openly tell the camera they have no problem talking openly about the fact that, yeah, women poop.

What makes the story a story is that the ad was apparently not well received by advertising platforms.

"We made an ad talking about how in the year 2021 women and commercials should be OK talking about poop," says David Littlejohn, Humanaut's chief creative director. "And then to our surprise we had our ad rejected by several networks, telling us it's still not OK for women to use a four-letter p-word ending in oop."

Here's the :30 version that was pitched to networks:

Garden of Life | Poopowerment :30

And here's the final version that landed on TV, where mentions of pooping are cut in a way that rather uncomfortably invites comparison to all the ways women just get cut off when talking about anything related to their bodies.

Garden of Life | Poopowerment :30 Censored

Separate fun fact: Generally speaking, people's comfort pooing in the auditory presence of others varies based on who might be listening. But non-heterosexual women are actually more comfortable doing it than straight men are. 

"Poopowerment" in its censored iteration started running from the Fourth of July on Discovery and Hulu, as well as on Amazon Prime, with reinforcement across social media, digital and online radio. This work also marks Garden of Life's expansion beyond distribution in mostly organic stores, like Whole Foods, into mainstream ones like Walmart and Amazon.


Agency: Humanaut
Chief Creative Director: David Littlejohn
Chief Strategy Officer: Andrew Clark
Executive Producer: Dan Jacobs, Tommy Wilson
Associate Creative Director: Bethany Maxfield
Senior Art Director: Carrie Warren
Art Director: Steven Preisman 
Copywriters: Steven Preisman, Emily DeMario
Designer: Travis Hitchcock
Creative Producer: Jes Shipley
Brand Producers: Marco Wade, Malory Carberry
Senior Strategist: D'Anna Farrar
Junior Strategist: Katie Smith, Alisha Taylor

Production Company: Humanaut
Director: Yaara Sumeruk 
Assistant Director: Rachel Bohanon
Producer: Alvaro Donado
Production Coordinator: Anna Roncskevitz
Director of Photography: Matthew Schroader 
Editor: Tyler Beasley
Color: Annie Huntington
Audio Mix: Danny Cooper
Art Director: Sonja Kroop  

Client: Garden of Life

Angela Natividad
Angela Natividad is the European markets editor at Muse by Clio. She also writes about gaming and fashion, and whatever else she's interested in, really. She's based in Paris and North Italy, so if you're local, say hi. She might eat all your food.

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