Bayer Consumer Health Australia’s Canesten this week launches a new purpose campaign, University of Down Under, which aims to educate and empower young women with regards to their intimate health.
Taught by ‘Queen of No-Shame’, Abbie Chatfield, the #UdoU interactive digital course delivers bite-sized and approachable intimate health education to reduce the shame associated with talking about thrush. From Biology to Psychology, Social Sciences to Physiology – no topic is off limits!
A continuation of Canesten’s ongoing mission to liberate women from the shame and stigma associated with women’s intimate health, the University of Down Under interactive course was designed using real consumer data revealed in the 2021 Intimate Health Report Card1, a survey of female-identifying Australians aged 16 to 25 that was commissioned by Canesten and executed by Researchify.
The findings – which explore health stigmas and myths that prevail regarding intimate health – show that while the majority of Gen-Z female-identifying* Australians are comfortable or confident speaking openly about their vagina (49 per cent) and vulva (45 per cent), intimate health remains a taboo topic.
In fact, open discussion about intimate health conditions such as thrush (46 per cent) induce feelings of shame, embarrassment, and discomfort.
“The Intimate Health Report Card shows that vagina literacy amongst Gen-Z women is sub-standard1, thanks to a breakdown in education from school years right through to current peer-to-peer discussions. With conversations about the vagina still being seen as taboo and women having to fight for representation of their body and experiences, we at Canesten wanted to create a location where Gen Z could learn and feel empowered about their own unique intimate health,” said Bayer consumer health brand manager, Jessica Robertson.
“As a highly-trusted and expert brand in women’s intimate health and the number one brand in thrush treatments2, Canesten is stepping in as educator – giving first-time sufferers the knowledge, courage and access to education that will help set themselves free from shame and discomfort through the interactive University of Down Under, that allows users to choose their own education journey.”
The digital-led campaign includes:
- Strategy, creative, earned media, influencer and stakeholder relations activity led by DEC PR. This includes the University of Down Under (#UdoU) concept, the 2021 Intimate Health Report Card consumer research on the self-beliefs and levels of confidence female-identifying Gen Z Australians have with regards to their intimate health that informed the interactive video course, talent relations with Abbie Chatfield, Shani Chantel and Maggie Zhou, and stakeholder outreach to relevant healthcare, allied health and education professionals.
- A ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ style interactive video course, hosted by Abbie Chatfield and created in collaboration with leading video production company, Visual Domain, and Vudoo, a global SaaS pioneer of interactive video.
DEC PR Client Strategy Director, Sarah-Ann Taylor, said marrying the important health education with the local Aussie tone of voice was a must when developing the University of Down Under creative strategy: “Success for us is delivering upon Canesten’s objectives to empower young Aussie women to acknowledge and take control of their intimate health.”
“Aligning with the ultimate zero-shame queen, Abbie Chatfield, to bring to life the findings from Gen-Z women was key to making an impact with our bullseye audience – and delivering the #UdoU course content via interactive video ensured max engagement.”
Visual Domain senior producer, Claudia Fitzgerald, said it’s not only the subject matter that makes the University of Down Under videos unique – it’s the interactive capabilities: “It’s a learning module, but packaged in a stylized, engaging, relatable shell so audiences don’t get bored and start watching something else!”
“This campaign is one of my favourite projects from this year, not only due to the important messaging around female intimate health but also in how we chose to communicate these messages. These videos are a perfect example of how incorporating interactive elements can turn a viewer’s experience from passive to highly engaged.”
“The use of polls, journey mapping, and interactivity allow them to take control of their own learning and provides them with a much more valuable experience. Audiences’ needs are constantly changing, they want choice, variety, and a personalized experience – and the interactive video we’ve been entrusted to produce for Canesten Australia provides them with just that!”
Other commitments as part of Canesten’s ongoing mission to empower women to take control of their intimate health include the brand’s award-winning ‘Thrush: The Musical’ campaign, which busted common myths about thrush in 2020, with engaging comedy troupe, SketchShe, and the extensive Canesten product range, including the unique Vaginal pH SelfTest.
View and experience the free University of Down Under interactive course at www.canesten.com.au/UdoU.
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