This Birth Control Ad Takes Place Inside Annie Murphy's Vagina
Her house. Her rules. And by house, we're talking vagina, specifically Annie Murphy's.
The actress, known for her role as Alexis Rose on Schitt's Creek, stars in Evofem's ad campaign for its hormone-free birth control product Phexxi. The prescription vaginal gel gives women control of their bodies, their sex lives and their birth control needs.
Created by McCann Health NJ, a 60-second ad is part education, part comedic gold, and chock full of double entendres and Easter eggs.
"Welcome to my vagina. In here, I make the rules," says Murphy.
She sets the mood for the evening by playing music, trimming her rose bush, and pressing the boinga boinga button on her intercom that prompts champagne to emerge from the floor, ready to pop. Murphy slips into something more comfortable as the ad culminates with a doorbell buzz, and a wink and a smile from Annie as she replies, "Coming."
Interspersed with the cheeky bits is Murphy explaining her personal plight using birth control pills with hormones and an explanation of how Phexxi works.
The campaign was led by an all-female creative, strategy and account team, who felt it important to use the word vagina, despite potential pushback.
"Having an all-female team added passion to the project," says Jillian Watkins, associate creative director at McCann Health NJ. "It didn't deter us from standing our ground with using vagina," adds Melinda Milovic, also an ACD.
Two versions of the ad were filmed; one with the word vagina—said twice— and one using "domain" instead. The latter version can air before 10 p.m. and on prime-time networks.
The vagina monologue will air on streaming and on cable. "It's not crass but very sophisticated," says Milovic.
"It's empowering to talk genuinely about our bodies and what it means to take care of ourselves and, as women, our sexual health," says Saundra Pelletier, chief executive officer of Evofem. "Our goal is not by any means to offend people, but it is time we start talking about our body parts on an equal playing field. We say shoulder, elbow, knee without question, and it's time to normalize vagina, too. For Phexxi, this campaign contained provocation with purpose—we didn't just say 'vagina' to get a reaction, but because it is directly tied to our product and the consumer we serve. Women deserve birth control without hormones, and to us, getting the message out was essential."
"Sex is supposed to be fun," adds Watkins. "Birth control can be a buzzkill. The ad feels like a breakthrough for the category."
McCann Health NJ
Bruno Abner: Chief Creative Officer
Jillian Watkins: VP Associate Creative Director
Melinda Milovic: VP Associate Creative Director
Trish Salge: Art Supervisor
Tressie LaFay: Copy Supervisor
Gillian Walker: EVP Managing Director
Marcie Judges: VP Account Group Supervisor
Courtney Wolfson: Account Supervisor
Deb Sobelman: SVP Strategy Director
Alexandra Davis: VP Strategy and Engagement Director
Maureen Phillips: Executive Producer
Rebecca Binder: Head of Production
Saundra Pelletier: Chief Executive Officer
Tim Glennon: Vice President of Marketing
Caitlin Schneider: Head of Consumer Marketing
Erin Turner: Brand Manager
Natasha Azevedo: Brand Manager
Hollie Noble: Senior Group Director
Melanie Weiss: Senior Account Director
Keith LaFerriere: Creative Director
Martin Mannion: Practice Lead, Strategy
Chelsea Gargiulo: Executive Director
Samantha Jones: Account Executive
Filip Engstrom: Director
Patrick Milling-Smith: Co-Founder
Brian Carmody: Co-Founder
Sue Yeon Ahn: Executive Producer
Andrew Colón: Chief Operating Officer
Alex Hughes: Head of Production
Francesca Lentini: Producer
Chris Franklin: Editor
Sarah Van Tassel: Editorial Producer
Ali Corsie: Producer
Ryan Sears Effects Supervisor
Chris Ryan: Colorist
Tom Jucarone: Audio Engineer