Ad Nut
Jul 27, 2018

Tena and BBDO handle incontinence with sensitivity

A family focus and a light touch make a video about protective underwear for adults effective and even moving.

Being tasked to advertise adult-incontinence products has got to be unnerving. The temptation to use humour to lighten a taboo topic must be great. But the condition, which can cause people to withdraw from activities and social situations, is no laughing matter. At the same time, one can easily picture an overly dramatic treatment being unbearable.

The people at Tena, along with BBDO Malaysia, have found a smart solution with this video, which has been viewed nearly 3 million times across Facebook and YouTube.

They came up with a simple premise—two parents and their young-adult children trying Tena's product for two weeks—and executed on it using a no-nonsense documentary style. It works, because it simply shows people who care about each other talking about a difficult subject, and then experiencing the product. The neatest trick is that it actually spends very little time discussing or showing the negative 'before' situation. We mainly see the 'after', where the parents return to activities they'd been avoiding and enjoy restored confidence. Meanwhile, the growing understanding of the young people serves to break down stigmas about the condition and the product. 

The popularity of the video indicates that the issue is more widespread than you might imagine. But Ad Nut also expects that people are responding to the filial piety on display. One can't really see this same approach working in the west, which means this is second time in two days Ad Nut has been impressed by marketing that's well-tuned to local sensibilities (see "To prevent cancer, just touch this special piece of wood"). That's a nice trend.


Lim Wee Ling Niamh Spurr
Lila Talitha
Rafiq Ridzwan
Syaza Abdul Rahman
Abdul Hadi
Kenny Ng
Hugo Pacheco
Lucas Yap

Ad Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for unknown reasons has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over Asia and the world for your viewing pleasure, because Ad Nut loves you. You can also check out Ad Nut's Advertising Hall of Fame, or read about Ad Nut's strange obsession with 'murderous beasts'.



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