Women get real about sex, ageing and incontinence for Tena campaign

Film is shot by The Favourite director Yorgos Lanthimos.

Tena aims to challenge perceptions of women’s ageing and incontinence in an intimate film shot by The Favourite director Yorgos Lanthimos. 

"#Ageless", created by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, features women over the age of 55 candidly discussing their attitudes to sex and their bodies. The script was developed in collaboration with the women and reflects their real-life experiences, with lines including: "Because I’m comfortable in my body, I still feel sexy."

Part way through the ad, a few of the women reveal that they also have incontinence, but it does not have a harmful effect on their self-image. It ends with the line: "Our bodies change, but why should we?"

The campaign launches today (Monday) on Channel 4 and runs across TV, cinemas, podcasts and social media in the UK, France and Germany. It includes media partnerships with Channel 4, The Guardian and French weekly women’s magazine Femme Actuelle, which will host activations and publish content breaking down the taboos of ageing and incontinence. 

Additionally, artist Stina Persson has created watercolour portraits that express how bodies change. Essity, the owner of Tena, is sending influencers in the UK, France and Germany 200 "#Ageless" packs containing a device by femtech brand Je Joue that improves pelvic floor strength while bringing pleasure, as well as Hanx lubricant, kegel exercise instructions and Tena Silhouette underwear. 

The work was created by Clark Edwards, Andre Hull, Verity Fenner and Julia Merino, and directed by Lanthimos through Merman. Zenith is the media agency. 

Research by Tena shows that while nearly half (44%) of women under 35 think that bladder leakage will negatively affect their sex lives, only 10% of women over 50 say that it has. The survey also revealed that older women are still not fairly represented in the media and those who are in the media are not relatable.

Lisa Myers, marketing manager for Tena, said: "At Tena, we are on a mission to challenge the current perception that incontinence is something to be embarrassed about. The research findings clearly demonstrate that there is a huge disparity between younger and older women when it comes to understanding the realities of incontinence and its impact on sex and intimacy in later life. 

"We created this film to celebrate older women and tackle the taboo around ageing and intimacy, collaborating with Yorgos to ensure the women featured felt empowered and that their perspectives and stories were accurately told."

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