K-Y tackles topics 'no one talks about enough' with docuseries

The lubricant brand's series on women's sexual health has been viewed 120,000 times.

Company: K-Y
Campaign: The Pleasure Is Mine
Agency partners: Havas New York (creative development, production), Havas Formula (communications, PR), Zenith (media buys, social media)
Duration: March – May 2019
Budget: $1 million

Lubricant maker K-Y tackled topics that often go undiscussed, including sex during menopause and female arousal, with a branded YouTube docuseries called "The Pleasure is Mine" about sexual health and positivity.

K-Y, a 100-plus-year-old brand, has long stood for sexual health, said Nadja Koerner, its VP of marketing.

Unfortunately, even in 2019, it still remains a topic that’s difficult to discuss on traditional and social media platforms. On some channels, for instance, K-Y cannot use the words "lubricant" or "pleasure" in its marketing materials.

To Koerner, this is an unfortunate double standard.

"In our society, everything is sexualized," she said.

It’s completely acceptable for ads to allude, often explicitly, to sex. However, K-Y faces restrictions talking about sexual education, notably the usage of lubricant and condoms.

The docuseries was born, in part, to create a platform on which K-Y could discuss women’s sexual health, education and pleasure in a candid, unfiltered way.

"It’s a topic no one is talking about enough," said Koerner.

K-Y finalized the idea for the three-part docuseries last fall, which includes interviews between a licensed sex therapist and real women. Directed by Amy Berg of Lauren Greenfield-led Girl Culture Films, the team was female-only.

In the months leading up to the release, "we leveraged key moments – such as SXSW and International Women’s Day – to elevate brand awareness across top women’s lifestyle publications," said Michael Olguin, CEO of Havas Formula.

A trailer for the YouTube series, which was promoted with a day-long paid campaign on Twitter, launched on International Women’s Day, March 8. The series itself was released on April 30 and earned media outreach for the series began that month.

A few days before the public unveiling, K-Y held a private screening at the Paley Center for Media in New York City, which was attended by influencers and reporters from HuffPost, Business Insider and Women’s Health, among other outlets.

Directly after the screening, the company activated its social media campaign in earnest, which included 118 paid influencer posts.

View this post on Instagram

#ad Growing up, my sexuality was never "mine."? It was always something that I "did" (or suppressed) for the sake of someone else... I used to place this sacred part of me in the hands of others because I didn’t see anyone empower women to pursue sexual pleasure for the sake of THEMSELVES. ?? It’s funny because in this day and age sex is EVERYWHERE... movies, TV, online, on social media... and yet the actual, real-life dialogue we have about sex, sexuality and pleasure is so limited. Nobody encourages us to explore our bodies and be our own source of pleasure. Nobody teaches us how to express our sexual needs and desires to our partners. Nobody talks about the awkward, quirky things that happen during sex like giggles, leg cramps, and new position fails. ?? That’s why I’m so honored to be a part of @ky_brand ’s #GetWhatYouWant campaign: because it empowers women to have better sex and for once, not be ashamed of it! ?? Remember: there’s no such thing as "guilty pleasure" when it comes to sex because you are WORTHY of pleasure and there’s nothing to feel guilty about! ???? And I invite you to explore that with someone (maybe even yourself) who is open, understanding and loving about it♥? . . Swipe right to see the teaser for @ky_brand The Pleasure is Mine docuseries ?? And tell me, do you feel like society empowers or restricts women when it comes to sexuality? I’d love to hear your thoughts. ?? Be sure to follow @ky_brand to stay up to date on this amazing series!! . . . . #sexpositive #sexpositivity #womensempowerment #femaleempowerment #youareworthy #selflovejourney #selfloveisthebestlove #relationshipgoals #bodypositive #loveyourself

A post shared by Mary Jelkovsky (@maryscupofteaa) on

All three parts of the docuseries have been viewed 120,000 times in total on YouTube.

It also generated interest from traditional media, with the campaign being covered by 20 outlets, including HuffPost and Cheddar.

Across social media platforms, the campaign received more than 1,600 likes, shares and comments.

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