The Most Contagious Debrief: Embracing discomfort
4 January 2021

View our Most Contagious Debrief here

Most Contagious always promises to be an event full of inspiration, creativity and world-class campaigns, and 2020 didn’t disappoint in any area. Usually a one-day event, this year the festival ran over two days in a new digital platform, with guests able to ask questions, join virtual coffee rooms and feel as immersed as possible in the digital world we all find ourselves in.

We have pulled out the three key themes from the festival, the stand-out sessions that brought the theme to life, and the key takeaways to act on now. The first theme we explore is called: Embracing Discomfort: The root of brand bravery. 



In the session Bodyform (Libresse) / Own the Womb, Margaux Revol, Strategy Director, Sarah Hore-Lacy, Senior Account Director, Nicholas Hulley, Executive Creative Director, Nadja Lossgott, Executive Creative Director at AMV BBDO and Tanja Grubner, Global Marketing & Communications Director at Essity, spoke on the taboo-busting ‘Wombstories’ campaign on tackling toxic silences and single female narratives.

By proving that Bodyform really understands the female body, the brand is reaching new heights in driving open and honest conversation around periods, in markets where even using the word “womb” is prohibited.

The team spoke eloquently on expanding the audience. Traditional advertising would make you think you get your periods at 12, repeat neatly every 28 days, deal with surmountable pain, want babies, have babies easily, get some more periods and then quietly retire with your irrelevant body.

By openly discussing endometriosis, miscarriages, menopause, the fact that is it ok to want, and not-want, children, Bodyform is creating an open dialogue with their audience by pushing boundaries and addressing stereotypes and taboos.

Famously being the first brand to step away from blue period “blood” in adverts and showing the colour red, the team explained that when you launch a campaign that is so real, you face visceral hatred. However, by normalising the conversation, they are seeing greater than expected engagement rates, and have taken a campaign which no-one would touch, to initially 4 markets and now 22 and counting.


Key takeaways:

  • Approaching taboo subjects takes being fearless to break the norm.
  • Normalising ‘embarrassing’ topics through creative is key to breaking down barriers in society.
  • Keep pushing ideas that you truly believe in, even when not many others do.
  • Complexity is important- breaking down over-simplified versions of stories.


How can OMD help?

At OMD, we use Empathy planning to identify and act on opportunities that not only create value across the entire customer experience, but also encourage our clients to be brave.

Through the process of OMD Design, supported by Omni, they are empowered to to identify what they “should” do rather than what they “could” do.

We also help our people to systematically consider all potential levers to drive greater empathy. Specifically, we organise this thinking around the six Cs:

  1. Content: understanding what messaging will resonate most with our audiences.
  2. Context: identifying environments as well as moods and mindsets where our audiences will be most receptive.
  3. Contact: applying suitable flighting and frequency parameters.
  4. Construct: ensuring our format is suitable for the platform.
  5. Culture: building the right nuances depending on culture or geography.
  6. Comms imperative: understanding drivers of intent.

Inspired by campaigns, such as ‘Wombstories’, we aim to push boundaries and create valued and valuable experiences for consumers.

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