What did we want to do?

As Elvie’s PR agency it was time to talk about peeing yourself. That’s right. It’s a taboo not a typo.

Elvie challenged us to raise awareness around incontinence – which affects one in three women and up to 80% of new and expectant mums – and create a brand moment for Elvie’s pelvic floor trainer. The thing is, no one really loves to talk about wetting themselves. So as Elvie’s PR agency we needed something clever, and a little bit cheeky, to help us start a conversation, challenge taboos, and deliver an educational message that encouraged women to seek help.

Inflateable Vagina

What did we do?

Incontinence affects one in three women, negatively impacting their quality of life. But our research showed that a whopping 72% of women aren’t seeking treatment, mainly because they’re embarrassed to share their experiences. It’s a well-known fact that humour is like kryptonite for taboos. So we decided to head down to Edinburgh Fringe to fly the incontinence flag, or the ‘Fanny flag’ to be more precise. In the true spirit of being Elvie’s PR agency, we wanted to go big.

Our plan was to sponsor the Fringe festival with our campaign, ‘Pissing Yourself Laughing’. The campaign featured an educational pop-up called the Pissing Booth and a 19 ft blimp called Fanny. To our surprise, at the last minute, Edinburgh Fringe pulled the plug. They told us that our pop-up wasn’t ‘suitable’ and that our blimp didn’t have permission to fly in the City Centre. With less than ten days before we were due to launch our campaign, we were left without a place to rest our… Fanny.  No laughing matter.

What happened

But Elvie’s PR agency does not back down from a fight.

We turned the tables and called Fringe out for being too squeamish to allow our campaign to go ahead. Instead of our original plan, we found a sheep farm 30 minutes outside Edinburgh. We inflated Fanny. And appealed to the Council and Fringe Festival to #LetFannyFly before the helium runs out and Fanny gets deflated. The campaign launched with the hashtag #LetFannyFly. We created a film, images and a news story, all while encouraging influencers to help us spread the word. Finally, we got the public involved through our LetFannyFly petition on Change.org. Despite torrential rain and more than a little sheep poo, Fanny was a big hit. In just three days, the campaign generated 220 pieces of coverage including The Sun, The Metro, The Times and Bustle. And Fanny reached 8.4 million people on social media. Elvie’s website referral traffic soared by 35% on launch day alone and our petition was signed by 4,500 supporters.

We know. You’re wondering what happened to Fanny? Well, despite the public’s support, Fringe still refused to let her fly, but she’s just waiting to soar through the air once more. So, if you’d like to adopt Fanny, just drop us a line.

Elvie breast pumps

what did we learn?

People love an underdog. Where there’s a will there’s a way. And when it comes to tackling taboos around women’s health, people are willing to talk if you give them a cause to get behind. We even went and won 2020 Best Low Budget Consumer Campaign award at the PRCA National Awards.

PRCA National Awards