A New Era in Period Marketing: Camp Gyno

hello floIt’s the period ad that everyone is talking about: Camp Gyno, the new ad campaign for HelloFlo feminine care packages, has exploded across the web as a major change in the way products for menstruation are marketed. In the past, period ads have always used euphemisms and the infamous blue liquid to advertise their products in a “respectable” manner. HelloFlo appears to have learned that this kind of advertising is generally met with exasperation by women who know that periods aren’t blue and yes, they involve some scary words that many people aren’t comfortable with.

Welcome to Camp Gyno


In the Camp Gyno ad, a young girl at summer camp provides an honest and humorous experience about getting her period for the first time. In the beginning, she starts Camp Gyno, in which she teaches the other girls about periods and how to use tampons and pads. She refers to her period as “the red badge of courage” and describes herself as Joan of Arc. Unfortunately, the HelloFlo care packages then arrive and steal her thunder. The narrator describes them as “Santa for your vagina,” another example of the frank language in the ad (no euphemisms here!).

How Viewers are Responding

The video immediately went viral, gaining over 5 million views on YouTube to date and even shutting down HelloFlo’s website for a short period of time. Camp Gyno has been described as a groundbreaking innovation in period advertising. Not only does it sell a product, but it also uses realistic language and breaks taboo barriers that have existed since advertising for period products began. Women in particularly see this ad as something that is a long time coming. Most notable is the main character’s use of the words “period,” “vagina,” “red,” “menstruation,” and “gyno,” which have thus far been avoided completely in all other ad campaigns.

The Draw of Realism

The success of this ad shows that realism is something that carries huge weight with consumers. Period ads of the past are well known for the blue liquid meant to simulate menstrual blood, the consistent avoidance of any language for periods other than euphemisms, and ridiculous scenarios that often seem to have little to do with periods at all (why all the horseback riding, really?). One advertiser, at least, has finally noticed that women are fed up with the taboo of periods, and that realistic advertising is something that will draw significant consumer attention.

What do you think of the Camp Gyno ad? Can your business get through to consumers by cutting through the fluff and getting real?

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Elizabeth K

Elizabeth Kent is a recent graduate with an M.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies from Brandeis University. She earned her B.A. from Smith College with a major in the Study of Women and Gender and a minor in Jewish Studies. Elizabeth recently relocated from the Boston area back to Western Massachusetts, where she spends her free time volunteering with a local non-profit organization. Elizabeth has worked as a writing tutor, archival intern, research assistant, and retail associate. Her interests include studying pop culture, kittens, and making meals with as little cooking as possible.

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