31 Oct Period. Start Of Sentence.
“Period”—a word most often used in written correspondence or verbal declaration to stop a sentence, a conversation, and declare whatever matter one is discussing to be over. Now, thanks to prominent brands across industries, this word is no longer stopping conversations. It’s starting them about one of the biggest taboos in history. Monthlies, Aunt Flow, menstruation—regardless of how one refers to them, many see periods as the secret struggle, plight, annoyance, and burden of the few. Small steps have been put into place as feminine-product-based brands such as Thinx and Lola promote quality, awareness and establish international campaigns to dispel the stigma. However, one traditional brand set a new benchmark this month.
In case you missed it, The Pantone Color Institute (yep, that one started in 1987 and responsible for colors representing unity and commemorative tones honoring pop-stars such as Prince) released their latest, most vibrant red yet called, “Period Red.” There were a fair bit of mixed reviews. A social media cacophony of retweets, reposts, and essays came ‘flooding in’ to herald the brand, reprimand them, or share in the celebration of the frank choice of wording with an objective viewpoint. As part of the “Seen and Heard” campaign from Intimina, Pantone used its storied platform to bring awareness to a biological fact. Here’s what brands can learn from this brand move:
- They kept it simple. Instead of getting bogged down in explanatory or adjective-busy madness, the creative thought-leaders at Pantone kept the message at the forefront of their brainstorming. By naming the color “Period” they skipped the often-trite pattern of over-analyzing the message or feeling it must be “prettied up” for the public. Period. Perfect.
- They shared the stage. Pantone showed their purpose to put a more meaningful message ahead of their brand by advocating for the facts and partnering with the “Seen and Heard” campaign. Real advocacy and alliance doesn’t fight for the spotlight; it pushes it onto others.
- They didn’t try to please everyone. Because, after almost 20 years as an established brand, they know they can’t. While this campaign received support, it also saw some criticism—from audiences across all genders and socioeconomic backgrounds. Their intentions, along with their motives, were questioned. However, Pantone made no apologies, didn’t second-guess their purpose, and continued sharing their support. Many may see it as a message in itself for those basking in the current destruction of this daily taboo.
Regardless of the intent, Pantone started a conversation that put a focus on normalizing the conversation. Their approach successfully makes it difficult to argue or detract from that fact. Period. So, to continue pulling purpose from Pantone’s move, learn more about Intimina’s social hashtag campaign, #WhileBleeding, that aims to keep the conversation going.