When Social Media gets Tough, Bodyform Fights Back

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Feminine hygiene brand Bodyform went viral with an incredible video response to a disgruntled post on their Facebook page.

One recently enlightened chap named Richard took to Bodyform’s social media account to criticise them for their inaccurate and absurd portrayal of women’s periods. Posting a long, tongue-in-cheek rant he complained that Bodyform set him up for a fall. Instead of the extreme sports and rock soundtrack he came to expect, he describes his experience as a horror movie, depicting his formerly loving partner as ‘the little girl from the exorcist with added venom’. 

The post received over 83000 likes, indicating that many people share Richard’s viewpoint and are disillusioned by the advertising that accompanies sanitary products. In social media terms this could have been a veritable disaster for the company’s public relations. Similar posts have been spreading like wildfire in recent months with other notable companies receiving the brute force of the angry mob. 

Dealing with such a post is akin to disarming a bomb, one false move and the whole thing could blow taking a company’s reputation with it. 

Most companies offer a stock response that consumers have come to expect and are now rolling their eyes at. In some cases negative posts will be deleted, a distinct brush-off from the company in question who are desperate to avoid any bad PR.

Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some hire public relations officers.

Daniel J. Boorstin

Bodyform responded to Richard’s popular post in an innovative way, posting a video that is both unashamedly funny and for once brutally honest. The video is fronted by Bodyform’s ‘CEO’ Caroline Williams who directly addresses Richard, ‘We lied to you Richard and we want to say sorry. Sorry. What you’ve seen in our advertisements so far isn’t a factual representation of events.’

Caroline goes on to explain that the ‘flagrant visualisation’ of women mountain biking, rollerblading and horse riding are in fact metaphors. She tells Richard that Bodyform tried a more honest approach but they soon came to realise that many people couldn’t handle the truth of periods. The video has garnered nearly 3 million hits on YouTube and is being widely reported on in the press with the overwhelming response being a positive one. It is a PR stunt of epic proportions whilst being simple in form and execution. 

What makes PR great? 

Bodyform however responded to Richard’s popular post in an innovative way, posting a video that is both unashamedly funny and for once brutally honest. The video is fronted by Bodyform’s ‘CEO’ Caroline Williams who directly addresses Richard, ‘We lied to you Richard and we want to say sorry. Sorry. What you’ve seen in our advertisements so far isn’t a factual representation of events.’

Caroline goes on to explain that the ‘flagrant visualisation’ of women mountain biking, rollerblading and horse riding are in fact metaphors. She tells Richard that Bodyform tried a more honest approach but they soon came to realise that many people couldn’t handle the truth of periods. 

The video has garnered nearly 3 million hits on YouTube and is being widely reported on in the press with the overwhelming response being a positive one. It is a PR stunt of epic proportions whilst being simple in form and execution. 

So what is it that makes this PR stunt so great?

  1. Timing – the video was filmed and posted within a week of Richard’s post. A speedy response was essential – they needed to strike while the post was hot. As it were.
  2. Humour – people generally respond exceptionally well to humour. A funny video is more likely to go viral because it encourages sharing and is memorable.
  3. Social Media – Millions of people have access to social media accounts and use them on a daily basis, providing Bodyform with a huge audience for their stunt.

Richard’s post could have caused serious harm to Bodyform’s public relations, but Bodyform disarmed this particular ticking time bomb with grace, elegance (mostly) and humour, turning bad PR into an opportunity for great PR. And boy did they succeed.

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