Historically, feminine hygiene brands have skirted around the realities of a difficult-to-talk about the subject, and the very thing their products are used for – menstruation. But as these big brands couldn’t simply give into the commonly accepted ‘ick’ factor and skip using influential social channels to market their products, a few forward-thinking tampon brands have figured out creative ways not only to get the word out, but to get the conversation flowing about this slightly taboo topic and win over legions of fans – both women and men with their humorous and realistic approaches to one of life’s less popular realities.

Here are three brands who have gone against the grain, stepped up and jump-started the menstrual cycle conversation through some very clever content marketing and social media engagement.

Use Humor to Create Shareable Content – Hello Flo and Bodyform

Unfortunately, the issue with feminine hygiene marketing content is that there’s still a bit of widespread reluctance when it comes to re-sharing content around menstruation publicly on social media. Hello, Flo and Bodyform are both brands that have used humor to address this issue – and they’ve created content that is so clever, witty and relatable that, women AND men have been enthusiastically tweeting and posting the tampon brand’s viral videos on their social media channels.

Hello Flo, a new subscription service that delivers monthly packages containing tampons, panty liners, and candy – is also delivering some hilarious content that’s gone viral.

Their video The Camp Gyno, for The Hello Flo Starter Kit  (a special kit for young women when they get their first period), has already had almost 3,500,000 views and it was just launched last week. The star of the video, a young girl away at summer camp, is the first to get her period at camp and embraces her role as period adviser to her peers until they start receiving Hello Flo starter kits. What’s so compelling about this video, is the stunningly frank period talk, and the way in which Hello Flo sheds a humorous and fun light on something that has been historically so awkward and embarrassing for young women.

Bodyform’s famous video, “The Truth,” is a response to a tongue-in-cheek comment left on their Facebook page. A disgruntled boyfriend pointed out the contradiction between the company’s fun-filled portrayal of “that time of the month,” and the reality. Bodyform responded with a funny video message from its CEO to “Richard”, apologizing for the false advertising and addressing the uncomfortable “Truth” about menstruation. This video has received global recognition from marketers worldwide, and it’s been shared over 5,000,000 times since its launch last year.

Create Engaging Social Media Campaigns – Tampax

Tampax takes a more serious approach, highlighting their brand’s core values – encouraging women to be active and stay active during their menstrual cycle. Recently, the brand took to Facebook and Twitter to launch a contest – The Awesomely Active Girl Challenge. Women were encouraged to submit a photo of themselves being active despite their periods – yoga, swimming, mountain climbing etc. Every week the contestant with the highest number of votes won $500 and a year’s supply of tampons. This contest was a great extension their brand’s image and mission to break the stigma that women can’t be active during that “time of the month”. The contest also generated a significant amount of brand awareness, as contestants actively shared their contest entries on their social channels to collect votes from their friends.

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What are other brands using social media engagement and content marketing to jump-start the conversation around uncomfortable topics? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!