When Rio pads introduced the Red instead of the Blue
Updated: Mar 14, 2021
In many of my posts, I talk about how advertising has progressed leaps and bound.
How the world today looks for that extra something that the brand chooses to highlight, which makes their communication stand apart.
But the one thing that we as Indians probably need to get used to or rather accept is the portrayal of reality.
With the help of real imagery, Rio Pads created a stir within the society with its bold portrayal of nothing but reality.
When women for years have mentioned- ‘We bleed red, not blue’ it was finally Rio Pads that listened and reacted. Watch the ad spot here
I am sure a lot of you must’ve felt uncomfortable watching this.
But it’s about time the reality is portrayed as is, instead of hiding it under layers of creativity.
For the longest period of time, sanitary napkin commercials have been considered as a taboo.
When watching something on the television, we come across a commercial, we switch the channel, same goes for a condom ad.
It’s not something that needs to be shielded, it’s something that women experience every month.
Yes, it sucks, yes it’s painful, and yes it is RED.
Since always, a sanitary pad ad includes a person wearing a clinical lab coat and squirting some bizarre blue liquid on to the pad, explaining the flow.
Rio Pads decided to talk about the same thing, with just a different color, the color of reality.
The objective of the ad is simple, to highlight the problems that women face during their menstrual cycle in regards to the flow and how Rio Pad helps them.
While other brands focus on how uncomfortable periods can get, that they cannot continue their regular work.
Rio pads looked at the root cause, something that needs to be highlighted.
The neglected topic of heavy flow during periods, a problem that affects almost 25%* of women in India. 1 out of every 5 women suffers from PCOD in India that leads to heavy flow*.
Talking about this, ensured that they make a strong connection with their target audience.
The execution had to be a tough nut to crack.
Because, let’s face it firstly you have plans of portraying something that the audience may not be OK with, you need to ensure it puts forth your message and at the same time it doesn’t irk the consumer.
Radhika Apte was chosen as the brand ambassador, and what a perfect fit, she is known to make bold statements and has a great connection with the audience.
The metaphor used to denote the flow of blood in the form of a balloon also fits perfectly.
There are multiple learnings that can be derived from this communication. Let’s look at the top 2
1. Take Risks
Sanitary napkins have been advertised for a long period of time, however, none of the other companies thought it was brave to advertise the real scenario.
Rio Pads decided to take that risk and it worked for them
2. Criticism is inevitable
A lot of media gatekeepers were not comfortable with a bold portrayal.
In fact, a couple of media channels even refused to air the commercial.
You cannot get away with criticism, but as a matter of fact, for their target audience- the connect was still strongly established.
For me, the brand is empathetic, it understands my problems and doesn’t shy away from portraying that.