written by: Wong Ka Hei, Libby

Photo credit: https://medium.com/thelist/naama-bloom-finds-her-flow-45bffedee28d

HelloFlo [1] is a startup established in 2013 and used to be an unknown brand selling women products. When business is going slow, the founder decided to boost the business by launching a campaign with a series of hilarious video advertisements. A new period starter kit is developed targeting to girls who are having/expecting their first menstrual cycle (period).

This starter kit comes with essential tips and some peripheral aids such as pads and chocolate bars to ease the discomfort during period time. These products can be ordered online at Hello Flo or purchase at Target – a grocery store chain in America.

When a lot of other sanitary napkin brands are still promoting their products using girly icons doing exercise and fictitiously assumes that period pain is non-existent, Hello Flo decided to acknowledge the discomfort and make fun of it. Words like “vagician” and “period fairy” are used, funny quotes such as “We can’t make your cramps go away, but we can distract them with chocolate” are put on the Hello Flo website. To encourage conversational interaction between customers and the company, Hello Flo developed a Dr. Flo blog post to engage and connect. Other feminine topics of interest such as women empowerment, human rights, or transgender are also included.

Another strategic move of Hello Flo is the partnership with consumer products conglomerate Procter and Gamble. Hello Flo collaborated with sanitary napkin brand Always and produced another advertisement called “First Moon Party” [2]. It was originally inspired by a single parent father who wrote them an email describing how he managed his girl’s first period. The company has spread the story on their blog and Facebook which earned a lot of emotional comments and attention. The advertisement starts off with a girl who felt excluded while all her friends got their period, so she decided to fake it with red nail polish. With no surprise, her mom knew those tricks, but instead of punishing her right away, she is throwing her a “First Moon Party”. It includes various hilarious events that are rather embarrassing for her thus forcing her to tell the truth.

This advertisement went viral due to its hilarious and creativity in story telling on the subject of interest. It generated 30 million Youtube views, 200,000 shares on social media and 70% of the votes in Adweek’s Top Commercial of the Week contest.

I believe what makes the promotion video of Hello Flo stands out is its new approach in packaging the arrival of menstrual cycle for teenagers. Looking into other famous sanitary napkins brand in Hong Kong, they are still using very similar “cliché” creative executions: a woman riding a bike, sleeping with a very comfy and enjoyable facial expression, off-white outfit doing exercises, product demonstration using blue liquid to avoid the perhaps disturbing red (blood) to the audience. All in all, Hello Flo not only brought a new perspective in product promotions and content marketing, it is through strategic partnership and the wittily deployment of digital media to build their brand with low cost.

[1] https://www.fastcompany.com/3042488/how-a-viral-video-about-periods-launched-this-startups-overnight-success
[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEcZmT0fiNM