JOAN London’s first campaign goes big on the word ‘Vulva’ to banish any stigma

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The vulva is just a body part, people. And a beautiful one at that. But unbelievably, it still carries a lot of stigma and shame today. Which is why a new campaign by JOAN London for body care start-up Luna Daily hopes to change all that. We find out more.

In its first body of work since opening its London studio, JOAN hopes to normalise and destigmatise the word ‘vulva’, creating the world’s first vulva therapy hotline and integrated campaign for Luna Daily, which offers microbiome-balancing body care suitable for all skin types, including the most intimate parts.

A disrupter brand, Luna Daily was launched in Boots stores across the UK in October and is already stocked in Sephora in the US and the UK. Its mission is to confront the shame and discomfort associated with the vulva, which often leads to vulva miseducation and undue stigma. Born from founder Katy Cottam’s personal experiences of using feminine hygiene products that came with a “what’s wrong with her” stigmatisation, the campaign’s central theme is to normalise the word ‘vulva’ much like any other body part. And its tagline, ‘Head, Vulva, Knees and Toes’, reflects this cause.

Titled ‘Vulva Therapy’, the campaign by JOAN follows extensive research that uncovered women felt more embarrassed about talking about their vulva than they do talking about their sex life or how much they earn. To add to this, ‘vulva silence’ is also causing health issues that see one in three women not attending routine cervical screenings, citing embarrassment as the reason. It’s a sad statistic, given that cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer in women under the age of 45 and is 99.6% preventable through screening.

Tackling this issue head-on, JOAN goes bold and impactful with the campaign creative. At the epicentre sits the first ever free ‘VULVA’ hotline created in partnership with celebrity psychotherapist expert Annabelle Knight, using exposure therapy as a method to help actually tackle the stigma and uncomfortableness with the word ‘vulva’.

To make people aware of this societal issue with the word and of the newly released hotline, JOAN crafted a bold and bespoke-designed typeface that puts the word ‘vulva’ front and centre of the artwork. I mean, you can’t miss it. Right there, in pink capital letters with a red background, it’s all high impact and impossible to ignore. And the message reads, ‘Triggered? Call this number!’

Unsurprisingly, some media didn’t want to host the campaign, so JOAN got rebellious – which is typical of the agency founded in New York. It carried out guerilla executions and fly postings – all complimented with a “global influencer activation”, as they call it, with merchandise and a PR and social media strategy to drive the conversation. “To really trigger change, you need to start real conversations between real people,” explains Kirsty Hathaway, ECD at JOAN London. “You need to be audience first. We want to stop people in their tracks – which, I’d say, this does – addressing a serious topic in a way that drives cultural talkability. It makes you laugh, all while eradicating shame.”

Katy Cottam of Luna Daily adds: “We’re not just challenging the status quo; we’re redefining how society views the word ‘vulva’ and our bodies. This campaign embodies our mission to empower women and promote open, unapologetic conversations about our bodies. It’s about time that the vulva is celebrated as a natural and integral part of who we are.”

While the campaign’s prime target was women of all ages, stages and backgrounds, the campaign’s overarching goal is to engage society at large. Kirsty says it sets the tone for what to expect from JOAN London in future. “Creativity that is unafraid, bold, fun and mostly has the audience feeling something. Because that is what joyful rebellion truly is.”

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