20% of Israeli women are Orthodox/Religious and as such are extremely hard to reach when it comes to feminine hygiene communication.
Not only is the topic of menstruation an absolute taboo, these women also avoid any info communicated to the general public, they do not own TVs and only have access to heavily censored sectorial media. Even digital devices are filtered to meet the protective standards of the religious community.
Despite the inherent barriers we managed to break through to this important audience by launching a much needed branded utility using unique touch-points like ritual baths and dedicated social groups.
Always was underperforming in the Orthodox sector. We were unable to justify our premium due to religious restrictions on media consumption that hindered the reach of our communication.
Aiming to build equity and increase relevance of Always feminine protection products amongst this key population group we looked to solve some of the tensions a modern Jewish religious woman faces when it comes to biblical commandments related to menstruation. Israel is known for its amazing tech entrepreneurship but for modern religious women this could also sometimes become a source of immense tension when tradition clashes with their modern lifestyle.
Always’ brand purpose is to build feminine confidence both as a direct function of its products as well as on a higher-level by empowering women. Our aim is to go beyond simply raising awareness to causes of uncertainty amongst women but rather focus on “action”, taking credible steps to improve women’s confidence.
Describe the creative idea / insights (30% of vote)
Biblical laws concerning menstruation prohibit sexual intercourse while menstruating, imposing punishment of extinction on both husband and wife if violated. No wonder religious couples take very seriously the rituals that guide marriage.
Once menstruation ceases the woman counts 7 “clean-days” and takes a ritual bath before the couple can have sexual intercourse again. Women test whether menstruation has ceased using a pad and in case there is still discharge the couple needs to consult a rabbi who carefully inspects the nature of the stains to decide whether to give the "green-light" or not.
Women dread this consultation, they wish they could practice their faith without encountering this embarrassing and time-consuming practice.
Always' Rabbi-Bot is a customized app using the power of Artificial Intelligence to help women determine whether they are still menstruating or not, all directly and conveniently from her smartphone with no need to discuss intimate affairs with others.
Describe the strategy (20% of vote)
Can Always, Israel’s leading feminine protection brand, which stands for feminine confidence, find a way to ease her tensions around her period?
Difficult to reach her with standard media outlets, we were looking for ways to make Always relevant to this community via other means.
We would start out by creating a much needed utility, a service that eliminates the need for the unpleasant monthly consultations with the rabbi and we will do it all with the approval of the highest religious authorities by making sure it adheres to the highest religious standards.
To build initial awareness we would announce the launch of the app in a press release in the sector’s media, bound to stir up some reaction. Next we will recruit the lady attendants at the ritual baths (Mikveh) to inform women of the app first hand followed by authentic testimonials showcased on private social groups.
Describe the execution (20% of vote)
Our AI based app replaced the uncomfortable Rabbi consultations. Just scan your pad and instantly determine whether you are still menstruating directly from your smartphone.
With the help of prominent religious marriage guides we “fed” an A.I. engine all the biblical rules concerning menstruation pertaining to multiple parameters of possible period and post-period discharge including color, size, shape and dimension of the stain. We also uploaded scanned sample pads classified by rabbinical authority which would serve as our initial data base. Each newly scanned pad would be compared to the existing base to determine status and would also join the data base by itself to further improve results.
A press release drove initial buzz while ritual baths' attendants served as our direct app promoters providing additional "how to" info. Testimonials on private Facebook groups further drove the message and generated extensive discussions.
List the results (30% of vote)
Finally, there was a solution to a problem that bothered hundreds of thousands of women.
We ignited the discussion and elevated it to the public agenda and the conversation exploded!
Since launch, 3,000 women on average have used the app per month (about 5% of monthly Orthodox menstruating women) and the numbers are growing steadily despite Covid leading to the shut down of the public ritual baths and consequently of our related DTC program.
App users reacted by thanking Always publicly, talking about how technology enables them to both follow their religious beliefs while keeping their intimate lives private. Even the husbands joined the positive talk.
Always’ equity measurement in the sector has soared ( “brand which understands me” up by 23%!) and after being flat for more than 2 years sales are now on an upward trend in the sector (index 107).