health care


From 'Aunt Flo' To 'Strawberry Week': How Many Ways Can You Say 'Menstruation'?



Slang terms for menstruation get anthropomorphized into real people in a new video from the Intimina line of feminine care products. The aim of the video is to end such euphemisms, which Intimina says discourage open conversation while perpetuating stigmas and taboos.

“Many of the euphemisms used around the world have negative connotations that associate menstruation with shame,” the brand explains in a statement, “leaving generations of women feeling like they need to hide their periods and avoid discussing their menstrual health.”

The 75-second video features seven individuals and one duo voicing their associated euphemisms in their own languages.

For example, “lingonberry week,” a euphemism for “period” in Intimina’s home base of Sweden, gets embodied by a real lingonberry jam producer who says the phrase in Swedish.



Similarly, Germany’s “strawberry week”shows up in the form of a real German strawberry farmer, the U.S.’s “Aunt Flo is in town” is played by a real American aunt named Florence (seen above) and France’s “the English have landed” (explained as a reference to both the Battle of Waterloo and the color of British military uniforms) is embodied by a French historian.

And then there’s “Shark Week," said to be popular in English-speaking countries (you may never think of "Shark Week” promotions from the Discovery TV channel in the same way again).

In fact, Intimina points to a 2016 survey by period tracking app Clue, whose 90,000 respondents identified more than 5,000 period euphemisms in use around the world.

Intimina’s “End Period Euphemisms” video declares “It’s time to call a period a period,” and ends with each featured player saying that word in their own language.

The brand tells Marketing Daily  that the euphemistic people themselves were found “mainly by the brand's marketing experts from several markets.” Then, London’s Cow agency helped product the spot, under coordination by Intimina’s global public relations team.

The video ispart of Intimina’s two-year-old, still ongoing “Seen + Heard” campaign, which the brand says has worked “to promote awareness of the widely spread and culturally embedded taboos surrounding menstruation and other issues regarding intimate female health.”

“Seen + Heard” began with a partnership with the Pantone Color Institute which came up with a new red paint color called “Period.” The campaign also donates to charities like ActionAid, which works with poor women and girls around the world.

Intimina’s products for menstrual health and pelvic floor strengthening are sold both D2C and at such retailers as Walmart, Target, CVS and Walgreens.

The brand began in Sweden in 2009, and its popular Lily cup line launched in the U.S. in 2012.

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