Tech start-up Elvie takes a lighthearted approach to female incontinence in a campaign introducing a fun-loving woman named Bobo and her bladder sidekick.
The "#FreeFromPee" campaign, created by Mother London, tackles the fact that one in three women live with incontinence, according to the NHS. Three animated films follow Bobo as she goes on adventures with her friend Bladder, who tends to let her down.
Bobo and Bladder’s escapades, which include running for the bus and visiting "Giggle Planet" and "Trampoline Land", are always cut short when Bladder leaks. The humorous situations are meant to be relatable to women with incontinence and share the message that they are not alone.
Ana Balarin, partner at Mother, said: "Our main objective with this project was to get women to understand that incontinence is a very common occurrence and that it need not be a taboo topic. By giving everyday activities like laughing, jumping or running to catch a bus the status of 'adventures', we created surreal but very relatable stories that will give women an excuse to start honest conversations about incontinence.
"Bobo represents every woman who lives with incontinence; she wants to go about her life without being held back by Bladder, her unreliable sidekick."
Elvie, which focuses on tech innovation for women’s health, makes a wearable breast pump as well as a pelvic floor trainer. The Elvie Trainer visualises pelvic floor movements in real time with biofeedback, a mind-body technique often used by healthcare professionals for pelvic-floor rehabilitation.
According to an Elvie survey of 2,000 women in the UK, 50% said they had symptoms of a weak pelvic floor, such as peeing involuntarily when they laugh, cough, sneeze or exercise. Mothers are particularly at risk of incontinence due to the pelvic floor being stretched during pregnancy, labour or C-section.
However, two out of three women admitted that they wouldn’t feel comfortable discussing their condition with their closest friends or family, and 40% would even feel embarrassed to talk about it with their doctor. Seventy-two per cent of women never seek treatment.
Last year, Mother made a music video for Elvie – with a nod to both Janelle Monáe's Pynk and Dua Lipa's IDGAF&– promoting the company’s wearable breast pump. It showed women dancing in a barn among dairy cows to a track called Pumping. Unplugged.