AMV BBDO have struck another fierce blow against the orthodoxical coyness used to advertise sanitary protection products with a brilliant commercial for Libresse. Director Daniel Wolfe's film breezily confronts an audience accustomed to the conventional approach in which red is blue, and women are shown conducting themselves as though in denial of the reality of their menstrual cycles.
Existing advertising in this sector has been consistently attacked by female comedians for its condescension and this ought to have prompted a rethink years ago. Our industry has been slow to jettison an outdated approach, and it's hard not to attribute this to male-dominated creative departments.
Having said that, observant readers may notice that the credit list for this film is skewed towards maleness and deduce that it isn't necessary to have a fairer balance behind-the-scenes to achieve a more enlightened approach. But even if this inference is reasonable, it's probably more accurate to say that creative departments are adept at paying attention to the Zeitgeist and that this commercial is the result of reading the writing on the wall.
Similarly, there are those who will question the decision to hand this task to a male director. Not because anyone could have done a better job than Daniel Wolfe but because of the optics. Somesuch's Sally Campbell has already used social media to pre-empt this criticism in characteristically robust fashion but it's valid to ask whether this was a project that should have been handed to a female director. At the very least it would have avoided the criticism that Campbell anticipates. More than that though, it would have handed useful ammunition to those charged with gaining maximum PR for this project.
In an ideal world where equality reigns we might be able to agree with Campbell that it's: "total, old fashioned, backward bullshit" to focus attention on the gender of the director but as the #MeToo phenomenon has made horrendously plain in the last few days, we are a long way from that world.