Why is this work relevant for Glass: The Award for Change
Simply because we were champions of change through this campaign, and successfully implemented it. TENA’s ambition was to break taboos around incontinence in the region, and challenge negative perception’s of menopause. We did that by taking what some would believe to be impossible.- changing a hundred-year old word. We created a movement for positive change, erasing the word “Age of Despair” associated with menopause and replacing it with positive phrases that women themselves suggested to better describe how they live their lives with menopause.
We saw direct results of this ambition when Al Maany, the #1 Arabic dictionary in the region adjusted the term Age of Despair to the Age of Renewal and when that the UN-endorsed our efforts. Main-stream media also started using the new phrase. This meant we didn’t just create a successful campaign, we truly affected change.
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.
Describe the cultural / social / political climate in your region and the significance of your campaign within this context
We knew from our qualitative research in Saudi Arabia that the region is seeing change when it comes to definitions of womanhood. The Saudi woman has become more independent, liberated and vocal. But the archaic social framing of the menopause lagged far behind their progressive worldview.
To understand them better, we conducted in depth and personal interviews with menopausal women. We also conducted a survey with YouGov, finding that 81% of women felt that the phrase “Age of Despair” needed to be changed.
In the first few weeks of the campaign, radicals attacked the campaign, claiming that “Age of Despair” is a correct description of life after menopause. But we stood our ground. By standing firm to our belief that the Saudi woman deserves to define her own post-menopausal life, we ultimately saw almost 100% positive sentiment across earned channels.
Describe the creative idea
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.
Describe the strategy
Menopause is a critical period in every woman’s life that comes with unpleasant symptoms that decrease her quality of life. Among those, incontinence is very common and affects more than 50% of menopausal women, yet is extremely stigmatized in the region. We, therefore, chose to primarily target women in the Middle East above the age of 45, entering menopause.
Our core audience is new. They are most likely to buy regular sanitary pads as opposed to our specialized products because they feel less embarrassed to purchase the former.
Additionally, we wanted to reach a younger female audience to drive awareness for a phenomenon that would unavoidably reach them around the age of 45 and build understanding among all females -- in the end, they are our future consumers. But more so, because young Arab females are bold drivers of change and have a far-reaching influence to challenge the status quo.
Describe the execution
To erase “The Age of Despair” across MENA and change it forever, we called on women to submit their positive alternatives and replace ‘despair’ with words of empowerment.
On international women’s day, we launched a film featuring traditional Arab music - Tarab - and gave it a modern twist. With Tarab Star Ghalia, we created a song that turned the negativity of ‘the age of despair’ into a call for positive change. We also launched the music live on Anghami.
Through social & digital platforms, strategic partnerships, and activations we created a movement for women, by women. We called on women across the region to tell their stories and invited them to submit alternative words.
Thousands of women joined the conversation and suggested words that could replace ‘despair’, a female panel chose the one that stood out. “Renewal.” – Labeling menopause as the beginning of a new, exciting life chapter.
Describe the results / impact
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.
CEO and Chairman
Chief Creative Officer
Marie Claire Maalouf
Executive Creative Director
Executive Creative Director
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