Developing the campaign, we were up against two strategic challenges. Firstly, incontinence is the number one health stigma globally, and in the Middle East it’s no different, where the condition is surrounded by negative connotations of the body aging. Secondly, our research revealed the political and social atmosphere in the Arab region has seen a significant shift, and Arab women have become more independent, liberated and vocal. But the archaic social framing of the menopause lagged far behind their progressive worldview. To launch TENA in the Middle East, we decided to bring our target's most pertinent struggle into the spotlight.
TENA’s position as the world’s leading Adult Incontinence Product brand was not translating into market penetration in the region. TENA was lagging with a market share of 18% and found itself in a solid challenger position. With this context, a re-set was needed to gain traction in key markets such as KSA. Analyzing market conditions, the challenges became clear. Incontinence is globally the most stigmatized of health conditions, but in Saudi, the stigma was elevated to a taboo. The result is that 90% of women in KSA seek don't seek medical advice for incontinence as the topic is sensitive and the result is that most women chose sanitary pads as opposed to a specialized product. Additionally, TENA suffered a perception challenge and was being viewed as a medical product for older women that didn’t resonate with a younger audience, making it difficult for the brand to gain a cultural foothold.
The Interpretation of the Challenge (30% of vote)
As the number one incontinence brand, TENA is on a mission to challenge negative perceptions of women with incontinence and drive greater age confidence amongst women 45+. To do this, the challenge was to break down the stigmas and taboos associated with aging, and in the Middle East, as women enter menopausal years, they are condemned to the phrase “Age of Despair”. To break into the market and achieve our mission, we recruited women to change this phrase forever, and in doing so, we empowered them to live their lives fully, no matter what symptoms the menopause may confront them with.
The Insight / Breakthrough Thinking (30% of vote)
When it comes to incontinence, research has shown that Saudi women do not associate any negative impact on their femininity due to the condition. However, it is not a topic openly discussed among Saudi women, even amongst close female friends or family. In the eyes of the public, the term used in medical literature to describe menopause is the “Age of Despair”, but this is not how women wish to talk about themselves or to describe that phase of their lives.
This presented an opportunity for a brand like TENA to start interjecting in the conversation with targeted information about incontinence and taking the throne in normalizing the narrative around menopause and it’s side effects on women’s lives, with a mission to destroy the label Age of Despair.
The Creative Idea (20% of vote)
We started with culture: Saudi women were gaining the courage to be heard. A drive to re-invent themselves in the eyes of societal change. If our women were brave enough to challenge the status-quo, then so could we.
Speaking to women in Saudi within the age of menopause, we realized their perception of it didn't match the stigma created by patriarchal society. Menopause in their eyes was a time to positively embrace maturity, calmness, and a time to become more exploratory.
We had to tackle the expression head-on. The word 'menopause' doesn’t exist in Arabic language and is replaced by the derogatory term 'Age of Despair'; a term that only reflects the perceived despair in a woman losing her 'use'. If we could eradicate the term and replace it with something more positive, women could feel more empowered to embrace menopause and the products that make it a liberating experience.
The Outcome / Results (20% of vote)
Our efforts were designed to make a big impact on society, and the results spoke of a movement that took hold. With 4.7 million video views and over 240K song streams, the message had cut through. But what got us excited was the high conversation, as we saw 6.9 million social engagements and for the first time in 2 years search queries about incontinence increased by 44%.
From a market-share perspective, TENA became the n.2 brand in volume during the campaign period with an increase of 13.1% compared to Jan ’21 and the n.1 brand in value with an increase of 16.5% compared to Jan ’21.
Most notably, the No.1 Arabic dictionary in the region adjusted the term Age of Despair to the Age of Renewal and the UN-endorsed our efforts. Main-stream media started using the new phrase. This meant we didn’t just create a successful campaign, we affected change.
Please tell us about how the work challenged / was different from the brands competitors
To take to the public a topic that is so sensitive especially with regards to women and in the Middle East, a place where it is more of a taboo to discuss topics that relate to female aging and biological changes that happen to the female body is something no other brand has done before.
TENA’s campaign took a very bold and provocative approach never seen before in the region, targeting women to help empower them to be who they want to be, to be intimate, active, funny, and fashionable – not defined by incontinence, but dealing with it as one part of their lives, also challenging society to break these negative perceptions associated with menopause, and to destroy every negative label associated with this phase of a woman’s life, forever, something that again, no other brand has done.
CEO and Chairman
Chief Creative Officer
Marie Claire Maalouf
Executive Creative Director
Executive Creative Director
Chief Creative Officer
Senior Art Director
Haitham Elias Shaheen
Senior Account Executive
Regional Head of Production
Talent Project Lead
Global Marketing & Communication Director TENA
Global Brand Communication Manager, Incontinence Care