HelloFlo Gets Periods – And Marketing – Right

Posted on 21 June, 2014 in Content Strategy, Pop Culture Content Teardowns

helloflo marketingHow often does a marketing video make you laugh out loud? How often do you watch it several times in a row because you laughed through some of the jokes the first few times around? For me, who can laugh at almost anything, it’s still not often.

But that’s just what happened with HelloFlo‘s latest viral video. And that humor extends throughout their entire marketing strategy. I. Love. It.

You may have seen their two videos that have gone viral – one last summer, and one a few days ago. But have you taken the time to really check them out? I did, and their branding matches the tone of the videos. I have to say that it’s perfect, especially when you consider what they’re selling.

Last year, I cracked up at their Camp Gyno video…as a girl who spent her preteen years at sleepaway camp, I know how often it’s talked about when you get a hundred hormonal preteen girls together. But after I watched the video, I kind of forgot about it (actually, until a friend sent it to me a few weeks before this new one came out).

So, I was already expecting hilarity when I heard they had a new video, First Moon Party:

It didn’t disappoint. And I always wonder, when I find something hilarious, if I’m the only one. I mean, I once found a Vine of Despicable Me minions dancing to some hip-hop song and laughed so hard that I cried. Yeah, a six-second video made me cry. But in just four days, HelloFlo’s new video has almost 13 million views. They’ve also nabbed 70% of the votes in Adweek’s Top Commercial of the Week contest. So, yeah, I’m not the only one.

So this time around, I had to dig in a little and see what the company’s marketing and branding was like.

All I have to say is: It wins.

Talk About A Challenge

Most people don’t really like talking about periods. Girls, how many of you lower your voice when talking about it? Guys, how often do you walk out of the room when you hear the ladies talking mensies?

If your brand is based on something people like talking about, things could get difficult. You could take one of two routes:

  • Gloss over the topic, like most makers of pads and tampons, without using actual terminology in ads and basically avoiding the color red altogether in favor of weird blue gel. There’s usually someone swimming, doing gymnastics, or running through a field.
  • Grab that discomfort people have and ride with it. Make fun the discomfort, shove the terminology and reality in people’s faces and hope it works out. Make them laugh in the process. Make fun of ourselves.

You can tell which route HelloFlo took. And it works, in my opinion.

The HelloFlo Voice

One of my favorite things about HelloFlo is their brand voice. When you go to their website, one of the first thing you see is a fill-in-the-blank sentence describing their services, rotating some of the funniest nicknames for lady parts and periods into the blank:

helloflo slogans

 

They also use words like “vagician” and have website copy like:

  • We can’t make your cramps go away, but we can distract them with chocolate.
  • Get her this [postpartum] kit and she’ll definitely be your BFF. She doesn’t need another onesie.
  • Goodbye uh-oh. Hello flo.

They make periods funny, basically. That can’t be easy to do.

Also, think about this: how often do you hear women use the words “menstruation,” “cycle,” and “premenstrual syndrome?” Nope. We ladies say things like “crimson wave,” “lady bits,” and “OWWWWWW cramps and I’m tired and I need chocolate NOW.”

So HelloFlo has mastered the most important part of a brand voice: they talk like their target audience does.

All About the Ladies

The other great thing about them is that their overarching strategy is just being all about women. They’re not just periods.

They have two blogs:

  • Ask Dr. Flo – This is an outlet for women to get their “down there”-related questions by doctors. Topics range from talking to your daughter about puberty to menopause.
  • In Case You Missed It – This blog curates and talks about general “lady-centric” things, particularly campaigns about empowering women. The posts range from informational to hilarious.

And on social media, they’re the same way. They just share things women want to know about, instead of focusing on the sometimes unpleasant topic of periods all the time.

It works. Their videos led me to their website and social media. From their, I subscribed to their newsletter. I also will probably become a customer sometime soon. So yeah, viral videos normally don’t produce customers. But sometimes they do.