Bodyform bites back with video apology to snarky comment

Posted on 17th Oct 2012 by Scott Goodson in Case Studies

What do you do when your brand is suddenly exposed to scathing complaints or feedback on the web? How do you fight back when your reputation is at stake?

In the case of female hygiene company Bodyform, you fight fire with fire. When the brand received a cutting comment on its Facebook page, something that received over 84,000 likes - it couldn’t ignore it. It rose to the challenge by responding with a funny video.

The original tongue-in-cheek complaint came from Richard Neill who claimed that Bodyform had ‘lied to us for all these years’. Reproduced for this article, Richard said:

“Hi, as a man I must ask why you have lied to us for all these years. As a child I watched your advertisements with interest as to how at this wonderful time of the month that the female gets to enjoy so many things, I felt a little jealous. I mean bike riding, rollercoasters, dancing, parachuting, why couldn't I get to enjoy this time of joy and 'blue water' and wings!! Dam my penis! Then I got a girlfriend, was so happy and couldn't wait for the joyous adverturous time of the month to happen.... you lied!! There was no joy, no extreme sports, no blue water spilling over wings and no rocking soundtrack oh no no no. Instead I had to fight against every male urge I had to resist screaming wooaaahhhhh bodddyyyyyyfooorrmmm bodyformed for youuuuuu as my lady to the little girl from the exorcist with added venom and extra 360-degree head spin. Thanks for setting me up for a fall bodyform, you crafty bugger…”

The responding YouTube video acted as an apology from the company’s fictional CEO. In the clip, entitled ‘The Truth’, Caroline Williams apologises for their years of deception and says, “What you’ve seen in our advertisements so far isn’t a factual representation of events, you’re right.

“The flagrant use of visualisation such as skydiving, rollerblading and mountain biking – you forgot horse riding, Richard – are actually metaphors, they’re not real.

“There’s no such thing as a happy period.”

The video – which explains that Bodyform was trying to protect men from the truth about women’s bodies – has had over 135,000 views on YouTube so far and is expected to be a hit.

Shared on its own Facebook Page, the brand is also enjoying a wealth of positive comments from its fans, all praising the smart video response.

Of course, before the digital revolution brands didn’t have this kind of exposure. There used to be a time when brands could control their own messages and they had a clear number of mediums in which to communicate with their customers.

Today, things have turned upside down. Brands lie at the mercy of their customers and must be transparent, open and prepared to listen to their needs. The digital landscape might seem a little exposed to some, but it actually presents a great opportunity to connect with customers like never before.

It represents an inspiring new way of thinking for next-generation challenger brands. It is certainly inspiring for StrawberryFrog when we work on next-generation challenger beauty brands like European Wax Center.

Bodyform understands the new playing field and responded beautifully to a negative comment with a funny video that not only won over its fan base but also cleverly advertised its products to the rest of the world.

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