Tena Menopause AMVBBDO

Creative Salon Loves

Anger is an energy. But so are empathy and love

We are loving AMV BBDO's Tena #LastLonelyMenopause and adam&eveDDB's film for the V&A

By Sonoo Singh

From the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade in the US, which could mean that within a matter of months women in about half of the United States may be breaking the law if they decide to end a pregnancy, to Channel 4’s Bank Holiday Monday documentary Davina McCall: Sex, Mind and the Menopause (still available for catch-up) - there’s lots to be angry about.

And while we wait for corporate America to disparage the US Supreme Court on this initial draft decision, in a tight global labour market where talent crisis has hit most sectors older women are perhaps having a moment. Employers are racing ahead to introduce practical policies to help manage the hormonal upheavals that hit half the population in their forties and fifties. 

But, I have to confess I do worry about the cost of sharing too much at a time when sexism and ageism are still rife. When asked to watch an ad on menopause it elicited a sense of dread and déjà vu. After all, it can be so reductive to talk about women through the lens of wrinkles, grey hair, and indeed fertility. Or being portrayed as victims of pregnancy, periods or menopause. Also, this constant need to always celebrate our individual traumas, or the unlucky events of our lives becoming the currency of attention, is not always welcome to many of us. Just stop. So, a deep breath to watch Tena’s ad on menopause. And release.

AMV BBDO’s powerful film of a second coming of age that leans into the idea that menopause is often spoken about as puberty in reverse – but where puberty gets its manifold tales of rage and becoming, the menopause is left behind. I absolutely love the honest and sometimes brutal mother-daughter relationship in the campaign, and a plucky portrayal of menopause - alongside the parallel story of a teenager girl going through puberty - through an intergenerational lens. This is the reason why the campaign has won Channel 4’s prestigious £1 million Diversity in Advertising Award. Directed by Shannon Murphy and produced by Lief, the film ends as a new conversation begins; with the daughter asking her mother what the menopause is like.

The short film is one of the only ads about bladder weakness to actually show urine on screen - for Tena, an incontinence brand, to write itself into the narrative without changing the story of the menopausal woman is what makes this campaign so culturally relevant.

Meaningful can be such an over-used word in advertising, but when done with the empathy to follow your audiences’ hearts it makes the right dent in society. This film from AMV BBDO is creatively ambitious and culturally just right.

“Creativity – it’s what makes us human.” Hell yes!

The stunning campaign has been created by adam&eveDDB for the one of the world's greatest museums of art and design, the V&A. The film takes us through the many treasures and exciting events with the story of a mannequin stumbling across the incredible art, design and performances inside the museum’s iconic South Kensington site.

The two-minute film, directed by Georgia Hudson through Park Pictures, features dancer and lead choreographer Max Cookward, a contemporary finalist from BBC Young Dancer 2019, and champions design and creativity in all its forms. What's not to love.

Bringing to life our most human desires that finds happiness and satisfaction in designing and creating is a persuasive idea.

The film is a love letter from both adam&eveDDB and the V&A to creativity - how it is fuelling our economy, securing our futures, and making our lives richer. Let's be having more of this.


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