In a world where technology advances every day, it is necessary to break paradigms and take the topic of the menstrual cycle to previously unthinkable places such as the metaverse. In three months, Essity and its leading feminine care brand in Mexico, Saba®, developed V-Land, a game on Roblox where boys, girls, teenagers and parents have a space in the metaverse that allows them to learn about and normalize menstruation.

This innovation came about after the brand gathered valuable insights that reflect the lack of information and knowledge about the menstrual cycle. The first National Menstrual Management Survey conducted by Essity, in conjunction with Menstruación Digna Mexico and UNICEF, found that 44% of women feel uncomfortable talking about menstruation with their father, brothers, uncles or other male relatives, while 52% feel uncomfortable talking about it with their partners and colleagues. In fact, the lack of information around menstruation is a global issue, with only 55% claiming to be knowledgeable about menstruation according to Essity’s Global Hygiene and Health Survey from 2022. As a result, many prejudices and misconceptions have arisen around menstruation, and have even caused women to live this natural experience with taboos, mockery and fear.   

Essity and its feminine care brands want to strengthen education and drive awareness of menstrual health in order to break taboos surrounding menstruation. However, education is most effective when combined with entertainment. That is why Saba® and Dentsu Creative have taken to the metaverse to send the key message: that all girls, boys and adolescents should experience menstruation without stigmas or taboos. 

“We developed the idea with the objective of initiating an innovative project that will help educate, while you play. We decided to launch V-Land in Roblox where the players will be able to find skins to use while navigating through this world, for example a tampon, a blood clot or a uterus. Every single element has been carefully chosen to bring awareness and break taboos related to menstruation as we want players to experience thrilling adventures full of emotions that are free from ridicule or bullying,” explains Mariana Salguero, Marketing Manager of feminine care brand Saba® by Essity.

V-Land was launched on February 23 in Roblox and is available for free in Spanish worldwide on computers, cell phones and consoles. The launch campaign will run throughout the year with a 360 promotion strategy that includes visits to schools in Mexico and targets girls and boys ages 7 to 15 and parents of children ages 9 to 15. 

Women+ lose 5 months of sleep over a lifetime due to discomfort, anxiety and fear of nights on their period. With #Peridodsomnia, Bodyform/Libresse have coined a term to make sense of all the struggles associated with nighttime periods, using insights gathered from talking to over 10,000 women globally such as the bleeding, the dreaming, the bloating, the tossing and turning. By tackling the invisibility of the issue with beauty and empathy, the campaign aims to close the gender sleep gap and provide comfort and community to the millions of women+ thinking they’re alone in this.

#Peridosomnia has launched across 32 markets, driving market share growth for the brands; 63% of women+ said they were persuaded to try Goodnight pads after having seen #Periodsomnia. Recognizing these results, the jury at the Cannes Lions International Creativity Festival 2023 have awarded #Periodsomnia with a Gold Lion in the category Health & Wellness - Brand-led Education & Awareness, and a Silver Lion in the category Health & Wellness - OTC Products/ Devices - Film: Direction.

“We are really humbled and proud for #Periodsomnia to be recognized as one of the most groundbreaking campaigns by the Cannes Lions Health & Wellness jury. Breaking stigmas and taboos related to hygiene and health are central to Essity’s work and these awards show that progress is being made. Afterall, periods never sleep, but why shouldn’t we?” says Tanja Grubner, FemCare Global Marketing and Communications Director at Essity.

Another campaign to pick up an award at the Cannes Lion International Creativity Festival 2023 is ‘Unsynchronized’ by Essity’s compression brand JOBST, which new fully functional font Irregular Bold receives a Silver Lion in the category Craft – Pharma Regulated – Disease Awareness & Understanding: Direct to Patient or Healthcare Professional for its design to represent the misrepresented in society. The typeface is unpredictable and distinctive, just like the affected limbs of those who live with lipedema, lymphatic and venous conditions. This font is used in the film ‘Unsynchronized’ which showcases the strength and resilience of six individuals living with lipedema, lymphatic and venous conditions, and throughout JOBST’s brand world.

“Compression therapy is a category in need of a refresh: we often see inauthentic imagery and staged reality compression brand campaigns. ‘Unsynchronized’ with the awardwinning fully functional font Irregular bold is a game-changer: being able to see real people with real conditions will make such a difference to those affected by lipedema, lymphatic and venous conditions. We’re proud to be the first brand in our category to do this, and so excited to be recognized for our work by the Cannes Lions Health & Wellness jury.” says Isabel Dahlberg, Health & Medical Global Marketing and Communications Director at Essity.

The Cannes Lions International Creativity Festival 2023 takes place between 19-23 June and is home to the world's most prestigious advertising awards. Libresse/Bodyform has a history of category-defining work that aims to eradicate taboos and shame around women+'s intimate experiences in order to create a more understanding, equitable world. The brand was the first to show period blood in advertising with #Bloodnormal and celebrated vulvas in all shapes and sizes in Viva La Vulva. Most recently in #wombstories, they dynamited the dangerously simplistic story that’s propagated in culture about what it means to be a woman+.