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We have seen enough of the sanitary napkin ads that portray women wearing white clothes, overcoming their menstruation days to achieve success. These ads largely address the concern of leakage and odour while ignoring the other aspects that women deal with every month—menstrual cramps and mood swings.

The recent influencer campaign of Whisper Ultra Clean with Herbal Oil makes a slight deviation from this. While this also focuses on the hygiene and odour aspect, it addresses the concerns around menstrual cramps and the emotional well-being of women during this time.

The brand has collaborated with actress Mithila Palkar to promote the product on Instagram. In a video post, Palkar mentions that she uses Whisper Ultra and explains the benefits of it. While doing this she also answers questions on how she deals with menstrual cramps and how she makes herself feel better. By speaking about the real experiences, the post becomes more relatable to women. It shows that the brand is empathetic towards the women’s lived experiences and understands its consumers. This is quite a relief from the traditional ads that showed women dancing, doing athletics or even fire-fighting without the slightest frown.

With Palkar’s strong youth follower base on Instagram, it appears that she makes a good choice for the influencer campaign.

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A post shared by Mithila Palkar (@mipalkarofficial)

However, not all her followers seem to have taken the campaign well. The comments on the post suggest that many of them disagree with her brand choice. Palkar has received a lot of criticism for promoting an unsustainable product. Many have urged her to use her popularity to influence women to use eco-friendly and reusable menstrual products like menstrual cups.

Some have even criticised the brand for using non-biodegradable substances and urged it to become more environment-friendly.

Influencer marketing’s greatest strength lies in its portrayal of reality. The campaign is successful only when the audience finds it to be believable. However, some followers have even called out the campaign for being fake, saying that ‘this much energy on a cramping day is the biggest scam ever’.

According to data provided by content marketing agency Sheeko, the influencer-driven campaign has reached over 2.5 million people in a media value pegged around Rs 6-8 lakh.

Sheeko Brandscore graph of the brand’s performance on Instagram over one year:

For some time now, Whisper has been taking progressive steps in the way they advertise their sanitary napkins. For the first time, in their ad for the same product, Whisper showed a red liquid instead of the traditionally used blue liquid to depict blood. And they did not show this as a novel thought or anything out of the ordinary. Just like any other Whisper ad, they showed this as a part of their graphic portrayal and only replaced the blue liquid with the real colour of blood.