Wuka Unveils Taboo-Busting Advert For Pioneering Plastic-Free Period Pants In Its First TV Campaign

Sky Media reveals WUKA’s advertising campaign as one of the five winners of the Sky Zero Footprint Fund initiative.

The taboo-busting ad encourages women to ditch plastic-riddled disposable pads and tampons in favour of its sustainable period wear, with an honest depiction of real period stories, in an effort to normalise conversations around menstruation.

WUKA funded the campaign using the £250,000 media value earned from winning the Sky Zero Footprint Fund in 2022.

WUKA’s first TV advert will broadcast from the 21st of April and will run until the end of May 2023, when it will be aired across Sky Media’s Linear TV and VOD platforms.

WUKA stands for Wake Up Kick Ass, a mindset which is encapsulated in the script – the most claim-heavy script the production company had ever seen. After a gruelling six months of defending the creative with Clearcast – the advertising review body responsible for clearing TV adverts of potential misleading, harmful or offensive content – WUKA successfully upheld its realistic depiction of periods and its eco-friendly credentials, to bring its ad to life.

From conducting a low carbon shoot to depicting the true nature of periods with real bodies, real life situations and even realistic blood, WUKA is bringing sustainable period wear to the masses with the help of the Sky Zero Footprint Fund.

The panel of judges first viewed the 30” TV creative at the Sky Zero Footprint Fund Showcase event on December 7, 2022, where the ad was applauded for its very clear message and potential to positively impact both women’s health and the environment.

Ruby Raut, CEO and Co-Founder of WUKA, said “For decades, growing up in Nepal, I used my mum’s old sari rags, was stigmatised for having a period, and was banished from my home whenever I was bleeding. I grew up with first-hand experience of what it’s like to live in period poverty and surrounded by the shame associated with menstruation.

“When I came to the UK, I was overwhelmed with choices, yet there was a distinct lack of sustainable period product options, or even easy-to-use solutions, offering the comfort and convenience that women and girls deserve to help them feel confident whilst bleeding. WUKA came about from a desire to create a product that both empowers the menstruating population and helps the planet.

As a self-funded scale-up, the Sky Zero Footprint Fund win has provided a really exciting and first-time opportunity for us to showcase our brand and product, but, more importantly, highlight the benefits of a switch to more sustainable period solutions, whilst also smashing taboos around menstruation. We’re hoping our first ever TV commercial will go a long way to making a difference to the lives of women, future generations and to helping reduce period related plastic waste.”

Throughout production, WUKA collaborated with Route Nine Studios husband & wife duo (Mike and Teri Moran) to integrate sustainable production decisions and practices. Steps taken included renting an Airbnb property for the shoot (instead of building a bespoke set); using electric vehicles and public transport for all travel; adopting a zero plastic set; and offsetting all carbon resulting from the shoot and production process.

Below are some insights that informed WUKA’s campaign and creative execution:

  1. Around 700,000 panty liners, 2.5 million tampons and 1.4 million sanitary towels are flushed down the toilet every day, with 1.5‐2 billion menstrual items flushed down Britain’s toilets every year.
  2. One conventional sanitary pad takes around 500 years to break down. As well as contributing to plastic pollution, a year’s worth of a typical menstrual product also impacts on climate, with a carbon footprint of 5.3kg CO2 equivalent. 
  3. A report by Plan International UK reveals that:
  • Over a third (34%) of girls that miss school due to periods worry about leaking.
  • More than one in four (28%) young women aged 14 to 21 are struggling to afford period products.

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