Society pressures women to react positively to the news of their own pregnancy. Planned or not, the addition of a baby means a substantial life shift amounting to thousands of changes. Yet, women are allotted a small range of emotion in response to this significant change.
In watching a long line of pregnancy test commercials, the possible reactions seem to be excitement, happy tears or a vague shock that one can assume will at least mellow to acceptance. From a marketing perspective, that’s understandable: Nobody feels compelled to buy something that may bring unfavorable news. The reality, however, is that pregnancy can be met with a wide range of emotions, some of which might be negative.
A Scandinavian contraception brand is working to provide more transparency with a campaign showing just how varied the experience is. RFSU AB joined the Swedish Association for Sexual Education to make three short films, created by Stockholm agency House of Radon, highlighting how differently these results are processed.
One short, “Shock,” shows a young woman sobbing in the mirror, a sobering reminder that a new baby is not automatically a joyous occasion for everyone.
On the other hand, for someone trying to conceive, a negative result can lead to heartbreak. “Disappointment” shows a visibly distraught woman sitting quietly with her test.
And of course, many are happy to learn of their new addition, which is the theme of a third ad in the series.
“The purpose of the campaign is to convey a more honest picture of reality,” explains RFSU AB’s brand manager, Jessica Åström. “When holding a pregnancy test, you’re only going to see one of two possible answers, but the emotional responses you can have are infinite.”
RFSU uses a great deal of restraint (especially in “Disappointment” and “Happiness”) and doesn’t bog them down with superfluous dialogue—and the work is better for it. The end of each film is adorned with a simple, comforting message for every woman who finds herself in a similar position: “Regardless of how you feel about your body or situation, we support you.”