Why is the work relevant to PR: TENA set out to challenge the misconception that menopause marks the onset of an ‘Age of Despair’ – the name for ‘menopause’ in Arabic –and raise confidence in women aged 45+. PR worked to deliver evidence-based research to strengthen the premise that women’s attitudes and beliefs around menopause were far more empowered and progressive than the term used to describe this stage.
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 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.
Describe the PR strategy (30% of vote)
The campaign narrative was aligned to International Women’s Day (IWD) 2021 theme, #ChooseToChallenge, and launched during IWD. The story and narrative around the campaign was strengthened through advocates such as the United Nations Population Fund, a surround sound of key opinion leaders, including well-respected healthcare practitioners who joined the conversation to not just elevate the discussion, but also to educate women and normalize the conversation around a sensitive topic of incontinence. Further, the research driven story backed by a survey of over 600 women from the region, gave substance and proof-points of a groundswell of sentiment that urged the region to move beyond the existing cultural phrasing for menopause.
Describe the PR execution (20% of vote)
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.
List the results (30% of vote)
On average our social content over performed on engagement metrics by over 15% and generated positive comments for TENA and on the topic of changing the conversation around menopause. We achieved over 48k engagements, 829k in reach for our social content and over 7.5m in reach for earned coverage across Tier 1 regional media.
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.
Chief Creative Officer
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