November 27, 2018 /Industry

Brands Drop The Taboo

We live an age where brands are considered friends. They are our trusted advisories. They are an ally to be had in this hooha we called life. Sex. Periods. Formerly a taboo topic, a subject matter to be held behind closed doors, is no more.

Social media spurred a rise in the brave and the bold conversations that occur between brands and consumers. Long gone are the days when teenagers wrote to the dedicated agony aunt in bliss and glamour magazine. (No nostalgia felt there).

Let’s cast our minds back to the seemingly ‘avant-garde’ period pants brand Thinx, who caught global attention for grapefruit ads invoking vaginas. Just three years ago, this was considered controversial and daring. Yet, in 2018, we have arrived at a point where we are ready talk. This year, we have documented the rise brands turning into sex education platforms. Let’s take a look newly launched The Sex Ed, a platform that seeks to empower younger consumers to talk openly about health, sex and consciousness.

Also catering to the unprecedented gap in the market, Pillow Talk was launched by digital art lab Motherlode. Here, a generation of young consumers, most specifically generation Z, can find a safe space to talk about sex. With the Gutmacher Institute documenting that only 55% of boys and 60% of girls receiving formal sexual education in 2018, we are have come to a point where, sex education in schools is abysmal. The need for brands to step in is imminent.

Last year, Edelman noted that 67% of consumers would buy from a brand for the first time, based on their standpoint of a controversial subject matter. In a climate of fierce competition, it’s an impressive stat, and sets the stage for an initial make, or break between consumer and brands.

Brands are education epicentres and enablers. Yet, this extends beyond the world of sex. Menstrual Health is another untapped area that is opportune for brands. Back in July, Hello.Me was launched as a menstrual health start-up to empower women with vitamin capsules to combat the side effects of PMS, including headaches, bloating and mental health. Similarly, over in New Zealand, recently launched Luna is a monthly subscription service that seeks to educate and support women with their menstrual health.

Brands are the frontrunners for supplying education, empowerment and advice to consumers. With this sense of trust and power, there is opportunity for brands to take a standpoint in formerly considered taboo subjects.

Key Takeaways

Consider how taking a standpoint on a subject that matters to your consumer can empower your brand to form deeper connections with your audience.

Step in. Drop taboos. End embarrassment. Create conversation and give consumers the confidence and a safe space to explore topics that matter.

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