Bodyform unveils ‘#Periodsomnia’ to help close period sleep gap

Bodyform campaign, created by AMV BBDO, shines a light into the darkness to reveal the truth of periods at night

By Creative Salon

New research conducted by Libresse, known as Bodyform in the UK and launching as Saba in the US, reveals that, on average, women+ lose five months of sleep over their lifetime due to the discomfort, anxiety and fear of nights on their period.

This research on the period sleep gap has informed the brand’s latest taboo-busting campaign, ‘#Periodsomnia’, and the launch of its new Goodnight Towels with MaxCour-V™ adaptive technology.

The survey, gathered from over 10,000 women+ across 11 markets also revealed that:

  • 62% have poorer sleep on their periods.

  • 33% struggle to sleep because of the anxiety around their sanitary product leaking and staining their bed sheets and pyjamas, evidence of the entrenched stigma that still exists around period blood.

  • 62% don’t enjoy staying over at others’ homes or going on holiday during their period and a fifth (18%) would rather miss out on a date than face someone seeing a stain on their pyjamas or bed sheets.

Bodyform, owned by Essity, 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’, it dynamited the dangerously simplistic story that’s propagated in culture about what it means to be a woman+.

This time, the brand is diving into the darkness to reveal the truth of periods at night. From children’s books to Hollywood, there’s a universal myth of the Sleeping Beauty. Perfect, neat and still, waking up feeling fresh and rested. Bodyform wants to dive beyond the clichés to show the bleeding, the dreaming, the bloating, the tossing, turning, tiptoeing, the farting and the struggle to sleep soundly. Again, its finding distinctive and novel ways to represent period blood. This time, we see beautifully arresting Medusa-like blood, detaching from the uterus and flowing through the body.

The brand has coined a new term ‘periodsomnia’ to put a name to the experience that millions go through at night. Many believe they’re alone in this, so the hope is that by tackling the invisibility of the issue with beauty and empathy, the work will provide comfort and community.

Tanja Grubner, femcare global marketing and communications director at Essity, commented: “For years, society, brands and advertising have presented images of peaceful, restorative sleep, even for those who are menstruating. The reality shown through ‘#Periodsomnia’ is that it can be more chaotic for some women+. It’s time to stop treating women+ like broken pipes which leak. They just have periods. By revealing these universal truths, we tackle the invisibility around the realities of nights spent menstruating to reassure women+ that what they go through is completely normal and that they’re not alone in their experiences.” .

Luciana De Azevedo Lara, femcare communications manager at Essity, commented: “Through the campaign, we aim to raise awareness of these underrepresented issues that affect millions of women+ around the world and highlight that there’s no need for women+ to feel ashamed or embarrassed by them. And while we can’t solve all of the experiences that women+ go through, our products are designed to help them feel more protected and comfortable so they can sleep better throughout the night. After all, periods never sleep, but why shouldn’t we?”

The integrated campaign will launch with a film directed by Kim Gehrig. The film mixes live action, animation and thermal imagery to powerfully illustrate the fact that periods never sleep, even when women+ might be desperate to. Accompanied by the upbeat techno track Deep Inside by Hardrive, the film is a hard-hitting piece of work, an alchemy of reality and surrealism. This is the second collaboration between Bodyform, AMV BBDO and Kim Gehrig, who also directed Viva La Vulva (2018).

Anzhela Hayrabedyan and Luca Grosso, the creative team behind the work at AMV BBDO, commented: “We all want to be told a different bedtime story, but this is the reality of the night. Around the world, millions on their period are raving through the darkness alone and unheard. We wanted to switch the disco lights on and reveal that they are in this club together. It had to be 100% real, but also 100% surreal.”

Kim Gehrig, the director said: “As a teenager, I would be awake for endless hours on nights that I had my period. I would ask my mother to go to the late-night pharmacy at 3am to get me painkillers. Even though they were a little helpful, those nights were always uncomfortable, lonely and truly exhausting. Yet, in the morning I was expected to go to school and perform like any other day. When I started this project with Libresse, it struck me that I have never discussed these nights with anyone, ever. What it is like to have your period at night? I can only assume that others probably have not either. I am hoping this film is the beginning of a conversation and understanding of what one experiences at night, every month, when they menstruate. And how truly incredible it is that we then take on the next day just like any other.”

Introducing Libresse Goodnight Towels Essity’s latest product, Libresse Goodnight Towels with MaxCour-V™ adaptive technology are designed with women+’s bodies in mind. Developed to adapt even better to women+’s natural shape and movement, they provide a whole new level of protection and comfort. The product has three powerful absorption zones in the front, middle and back of the pads – the absorption at the back being especially important when women+ are lying down. This means the pad catches and locks blood from any direction, providing superior protection that makes a restful night that little bit easier.


Agency: AMV BBDO

CCO/CD: Nadja Lossgott, Nicholas Hulley

Copywriter and art director: Anzhela Hayrabedyan, Luca Grosso

Designers: Simon Dilks, Max Henderson

Agency planners: Suzanne Barker, Margaux Revol, Bea Farmelo

Agency account team: Sarah Hore-Lacy, Helen Limbrey, Katie Gorrod

Agency project management: Daniela Loccisano

Agency TV producer: Edwina Dennison

Production company: Somesuch

Director: Kim Gehrig

Production company producer: Lee Groombridge

Production company executive producers: Chris Watling, Seth Wilson

DOP: Chayse Irvin

Casting: Leanne Flinn

Production design: Marie Lanna

Costume designer: Hannah Edwards

Editing compoany: Trim Editing

Editor: Thomas Grove Carter

Edit assistant: Jacques Simon

Edit producer: Noreen Khan

Post-production company: Time Based Arts

VFX supervisors: Stephen Grasso, Mike Battcock

Creative director: Mike Skrgatic

Colourist: Simone Grattarola

2D team: Bernardo Varela, Matt Shires, Sarah Breakwell, Will Robinson, Jamie Crofts, Ria Shroff, Grant White, Ralph Briscoe, Eleonora Laddago, Viola Bascombe

3D team: Ihor Obukhovskyi, Guillaume Heussler, Federico Vanone, Teodora Retegan, Chris Wood, Walter How, Tim Phillips, Nick Smalley

Post producer: Sian Jenkins

Sound studio: 750mph

Sound engineers: Sam Ashwell, Giselle Hall

Audio producer: Olivia Ray

Music: Soundtree Music

Music supervisor: Peter Raeburn

Additional music production: Peter Raeburn, Luke Fabia

Soundtree MD: Jay James

Additional vocals: Megan Wyler, Vula Malinga, Victoria Beaumont

Social edits: Maia Lloyd

Business affairs: Michelle Holmes

PR agency: Ketchum

Media agency: Zenith


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