Feminine-hygiene products have come a long way from being squeamish even just about the V-word. This hilariously written long-form spot for HelloFlo, a tampon subscription service, is full of great lines and comic visuals, as it tells the amusing story of a pre-teen girl who's the first to get her period at summer camp, and who uses that milestone to become popular—despotic, even—as she dispenses products and advice almost like she's dealing drugs.
"It was the beginning of summer, and no one knew me at camp," she begins. "I was a just a big random loser. Then, things changed. I got my period. The red badge of courage!"
As the sudden expert on the topic, she becomes the self-styled "Camp Gyno," hosting graphic "menstruation demonstrations," barking orders at fellow campers through bullhorns, bullying newbies and generally being insufferable. "For these campers, I was their Joan of Arc," she says. "It's like, I'm Joan, and their vag is the ark."
Soon, though, the Camp Gyno loses her power, thanks to HelloFlo. "The whole camp started getting friggin' care packages in the mail, with tampons and panty liners and candy! All perfectly timed to their cycle! It's like Santa for your vagina!" the girl cries miserably before collapsing in despair on her bed.
"Goodbye Camp Gyno. Hello Flo," says the on-screen text.
The spot was produced, without an agency, by co-writers and co-directors Pete Marquis and Jamie McCelland, a copywriter and art director team who worked together at BBDO.
"We came up with this idea over a bottle of wine and a bunch of Thai food one night," HelloFlo founder and CEO Naama Bloom tells Adweek. "I was listing out my insights about the period experience and shared the story of the girl at camp that my friends and I all turned to for advice. When Pete said, 'You mean like a Camp Gyno?' we basically knew what we had to do. Only humor could tell this story in a way that would be relatable, endearing and shareable."
Marquis adds: "A lot of girls don't go to their parents when they first get their period. They go to their friends. And a 12-year-old might not be the best source of information. We ran with the idea from there, and thought camp could be a funny setting. And a girl who embraced the idea of getting her period and seeing it as an opportunity to become popular, instead of being mortified, was pretty funny, too."
The comic style also distinguishes HelloFlo from similar services, "which all feel like they're advertising gourmet food," said Marquis. "We're hoping it gives the brand an open personality that embraces the topic and doesn't tip-toe around the delicate subject matter. As you can see, we didn't exactly tip-toe."
The new video is a kind of back-to-school effort. While the subscription service is for women and girls of all ages, the company today is launching a "Period Starter Kit," which helps parents and girls get ready for puberty "in a fun and informative way," Bloom said.
Client: Hello Flo
Founder, CEO: Naama Bloom
Writers, Directors: Pete Marquis, Jamie McCelland
Production Company: Hayden 5
Executive Producer: Milos Silber
Producers: Tyler Ben-Amotz, Todd Wiseman Jr.