Elvie Lights Up Times Square to Smash Postpartum Taboos

The femtech brand puts maternal health under the microscope and calls for greater support

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Femtech brand Elvie, known for tackling taboos about women’s health, is taking to one of advertising’s biggest stages to call out the lack of maternal support that many women face after giving birth.

The company—with products including a wearable breast pump and a pelvic floor trainer—is advertising on a bigger scale with its first billboard in New York’s Times Square. The ad puts maternal health under the microscope by highlighting postpartum challenges that are often overlooked.

Elvie’s campaign accompanies its first report, “The Motherload: The Weight of Limited Postpartum Support,” which uncovers issues that women may encounter in the so-called fourth trimester, or the 12-week period after giving birth.  The brand surveyed 1,000 women in the U.S. and found that many often have a lack of resources while struggling to access and receive proper support from doctors, employers and political policies. 

For example, 48% of respondents said they thought breastfeeding would be easier, while 84% of moms experienced at least mild breastfeeding complications after giving birth. While 79% experienced pelvic floor issues after giving birth, just 19% spoke about pelvic floor health often with their healthcare provider during the postpartum phase. 

Additionally, 77% of moms experienced at least mild mental health complications after giving birth, but only 31% said they received professional mental health support. 

To bring attention to the challenges of this life stage, Elvie’s billboard is purposefully simple in its creative execution. The ad features an animation flipping through various words relating to issues that often go undiscussed, such as “baby blues,” “bleeding,” “loneliness” and “breastfeeding.” 

“We see it as a responsibility as a brand to empower women further by highlighting these issues,” Aoife Zakaras-Nally, global chief marketing and growth officer at Elvie, told ADWEEK. 

Smashing taboos one city at a time

Along with the billboard and report, Elvie’s campaign will include a content partnership with maternal wellness brand Motherly, social media activity and integration with the Skin Like a Rhino podcast, which is hosted by the brand’s founder, Tania Boler. 

Elvie’s goals are to “make visible the challenges and complexities that women have to confront after having a baby, help garner support to navigate these issues and close the education gap by showing women the resources available,” Zakaras-Nally explained. 

Founded in 2013, the London-based brand is no stranger to addressing women’s health issues that are often ignored in advertising and media. In 2022, it set up a “breastfeeding bench” in places across Europe, including near the Eiffel Tower in Paris, where breastfeeding in public is still seen as taboo. 

Elvie also erected a 20-foot billboard in London that leaked water to raise awareness of incontinence. 

But like other brands operating in the space of women’s health, Elvie still faces censorship on certain media platforms and a lack of understanding about the support needed, Zakaras-Nally said. For example, the brand cannot use words like ‘vagina’ or show nipples on social media when showcasing its breastfeeding range, she explained. 

“it’s an ongoing challenge,” she said. “We still have a long way to go.”