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26 November 2018

Praise be.

by Jason Stone

Libresse: “Viva la Vulva” - 2 mins 55s

This taboo-smashing display of empathy for Libresse hits all the right notes. A series of cyphers are used to stand in for the most intimate part of female anatomy, but don't imagine for one moment there's anything coy about the use of stand-ins... this is gloriously upfront and personal in the best possible way.

Women are often fearful about the 'normality' of their vagina and vulva with many convinced they are ugly down there. As the speakers at the end of this film reveal, few women have seen another's vagina in real life so they have very little to go on when considering their own. Our society's tendency to champion an unrealistic notion of what a woman's body should look like has not ignored their inner sanctum, and a quick online search immediately unearths the private hospitals willing and ready to take the money of women who want to use surgery to assuage their insecurities.

Libresse - or Bodyform as we know them in the UK - have already strongly associated themselves with a more empathic approach to periods. Paradoxically, the positivity they used to enhance advertising for sanitary towels came from abandoning the absurdly positive tropes of the sector. They replaced white-trousered displays of women keeping calm and carrying on with a more realistic portrayal of menstrual cycles.

This film - directed by Kim Gehrig - gets real in a different way. It weaponises humour to complete its mission, but it's genuinely confrontational. Some viewers will balk at its frankness but perhaps they will find it in themselves to ask why they react that way, and the answer to that question may make them the audience this film most needs to reach.

This is outstanding work, demonstrating once again that advertising can be a conduit for immensely important communication.

Creative Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO Ⓟ Ⓦ
Creative Director: Caio Giannella / Diego de Oliveira / Toby Allen / Jim Hilson
Board Acc Director: Sara Abaza
Account Director: Sarah Hore-Lacy
Account Manager: Phoebe Swan
Agency Producer: Edwina Dennison
Film Production: Somesuch Ⓟ Ⓦ
Director: Kim Gehrig ♀ Ⓟ Ⓦ
Producer: Lee Groombridge
Production M'ger: Sarah Gardner
Production Ass'nt: Suzi Simms
Executive Producer: Seth Wilson
Cinematographer: Deepa Keshvala ♀ Ⓟ Ⓦ (Vision Ⓟ Ⓦ)
Production Designer: Marie Lanna
Costume Design: Vanessa Coyle
Editor: Elise Butt ♀
Post Production: Time Based Arts Ⓟ Ⓦ
Animation: Time Based Arts Ⓟ Ⓦ
Sound Designer: Sam Ashwell
Music Supervision: Soundtree Music Ⓟ Ⓦ
Music Production: Soundtree Music Ⓟ Ⓦ
Casting: Leanna Flynn
Music: Take Yo’ Praise by Camille Yarbough

David Reviews is hand-crafted by Lovely Lenzie Ltd, 7 Seven Sisters, Lenzie, Glasgow, G66 3AW. Editor: Jason Stone. Phone: 0141 776 7766. E-mail: jason@davidreviews.com.