BBDO San Fran, PERIOD see red for Period Day

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Apparently the first-ever National Period Day happened on October 19.

Before the tasteless jokes start flowing, consider the sobering idea that is actually inspiring this.

According to their client, global non-profit PERIOD, 35 US States still have a sales tax on period products considering them non-essential items.

One in four women struggle to afford products, such as tampons and pads, due to a lack of income. In the first city-wide study on period poverty, it was found that 46% of low-income women had to choose between a meal and period products.

We don’t live in a third world country.

Because of the period stigma that makes menstruation a taboo topic, people tend to ignore what it’s like for a homeless or low-income menstruator to get their period, and don’t have open conversations about period health or solutions to period poverty.

Now the organization, along with BBDO San Francisco, has created a moving and powerful PSA, where we, as the audience, come face-to-face with a poverty-stricken woman’s period.

Featuring Stephanie Shepherd, Madame Gandhi, Krewella and more, what starts as a familiar PSA with people speaking passionately to the camera soon takes a sobering turn when these familiar faces start bleeding.

There’s a “crisis that’s being ignored because we don’t see it,” according to the video, noting that the taboos and taxes surrounding periods have a particularly adverse impact on low-income women, who are often forced to use rags, tissues and even paper towels taken from public bathrooms while menstruating.

Watch the effective spot, directed by Community Films Pam Thomas, below:

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The “See Red” video, which is running on social channels and was sponsored by sustainable cleaning brand Seventh Generation, comes just weeks after period-proof underwear brand Thinx debuted an ad that imagines a world where men also get periods.

The spot was created with the appreciation that, as humans, we are hard-wired to respond dramatically to blood. But when that blood is hidden, it’s too easy to ignore. Not having tampons and pads means not being able to go to school or work. A menstruator’s time of the month should not mean time away from the education or wages they need.


Founder & Executive Director: Nadya Okamoto
Enfranchisement Productions: Brad Jenkins

Creative Agency: BBDO, San Francisco
   Chief Executive Officer, San Francisco: Jim Lesser
   Chief Creative Officer, San Francisco: Matt Miller
   Creative Director / Copywriter: Kate Catalinac
   Creative Director / Art Director: Corinne Goode
   Executive Producer: Louise Doherty
   Interactive Producer: Leslie Seder
   Business Affairs Manager: Nihad Peavler
   SVP, Group Account Director: Kim Fredkin
   Account Supervisor: Kimberly Bodker
   Content Creator: Bentley Rawle
   Editor: Dalan McNabola

Production Company: Community Films
   Director: Pam Thomas
   Director of Photography: Tami Reiker
   Executive Producer: Lizzie Schwartz
   Executive Producer: Carl Swan
   Line Producer: Tony Cantale

Makeup & Costume
   Key Makeup: Brenna Bash
   Key Costumer: Julie Vogel

Music & Composing: Alibi Music
   VP Strategic Initiatives and Composer: Kent Carter
   Executive Producer: Jonathan Parks

Sound Mix & Edit: One Union Recording
   President/Owner: John McGleenan
   Senior Engineer: Joaby Deal
   Senior Engineer: Matt Wood
   Executive Producer: Jaylen Block-Smith

Color: Company 3
   Vice President: Ashley McKim
   Senior Producer: Matt Moran
   Colorist: Jill Bogdanowicz

VFX: Method Studios
   VFX Artist: Matt Welch
   VFX Producer: Heather Saunders

SOURCE: BBDO, San Francisco

Contact Colin Costello at [email protected].