Tena bids to rebrand menopause for women in the Middle East

Large majority of women in Saudi Arabia believe Arabic term, which translates to ‘the age of despair’, should be changed.

Tena: aiming to challenge negative language
Tena: aiming to challenge negative language

Essity brand Tena is aiming to change perceptions of the menopause in the Middle East in a campaign jointly created by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and its Dubai network counterpart Impact BBDO.

The Arabic term for menopause translates as “the age of despair” – but a survey by the brand of women in Saudi Arabia found that 81% believed the phrase should be changed, with most preferring a more positive wording in its place.

The campaign, “Despair no more”, features an original song of the same name by Arabic singer songwriter Ghalia, which will be released on Anghami, the leading music streaming platform in MENA, using its new Radio Live feature.

The ad posits alternative words that could be associated with menopause, such as renewal, reflection, wisdom and creativity.

It was created by AMV’s Toby Allen and Jim Hilson with Impact’s Marie Claire Maalouf, Sarah Berro and Irina Siraeva, and directed by Camila Cornelsen through Big Kahuna Films. Cornelsen is a Brazilian director known for capturing women’s empowering images.

Tena aims to find a new phrase for menopause, and women will be invited to share their own ideas of how they would redefine “the age of despair” on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube using the hashtag #DespairNoMore.

Sarah Douglas, chief executive of AMV BBDO, said: “The pioneering creativity at the heart of our global AMV/Essity partnership breaks important new ground for older women in the Middle East today, challenging the damaging perceptions of the menopause.

“Tena is an extraordinary brand partner with profound purpose, not afraid to challenge painful stigma and champion change on behalf of both men and women globally, and we’re incredibly proud to have created this powerful, innovative work for them in collaboration with our friends at Impact BBDO.”

Sarah Berro, associate creative director at Impact BBDO, added: “Words matter. They shape how we see the world and how we see ourselves. By changing the 'age of despair', we’ll end the stigma of menopause for ourselves, our mothers and our daughters.”

The campaign comes a year after Tena launched a campaign shot by Yorgos Lanthimos, director of The Favourite, that aimed to open up discussions around sex, ageing and incontinence.

AMV have also created a series of groundbreaking campaigns for fellow Essity brand Bodyform/Libresse that have shattered taboos on periods, vulvas, wombs and most recently endometriosis.