(NEW YORK) — An idea that was born over, “a bunch of Thai food and a couple bottles of wine,” said HelloFlo founder Naama Bloom, has turned into the funniest commercial about periods ever to hit the menstrual market.
HelloFlo, based in Brooklyn, N.Y., sends monthly care packages of tampons, panty liners and even sweet treats exactly when a woman needs them most, and has now come up a new commercial, called “Camp Gyno.”
“Camp Gyno” is the adolescent girl every woman grew up knowing, the first girl in the class to get her period, the one who seemed to already know all about that ever-so-awkward and uncomfortable time in a girl’s life.
“For these campers, I’m their Joan of Arc,” the young actress states proudly in the commercial while sitting on her quilted bed in her log cabin at camp. “It’s like I’m Joan, and their vag is the arc.”
Bloom said she created HelloFlo out of a feeling of necessity to break the ice and open up the conversation so that parents could feel comfortable talking to their daughters about their periods.
“While the service is great for women of all ages, I’ve always known this is a service for younger girls,” Bloom, 40, told GoodMorningAmerica.com. “It’s an awkward time. Even when they go to college, a lot of them go to buy tampons and pads for the first time. Why not make this more fun and less of a chore you don’t look forward to? Why not celebrate it a little more?”
That’s where the idea for the “Camp Gyno” came into play. As Bloom began talking with more and more of her friends, she realized how lucky she was growing up with an older sister and mother who were always very open about menstruation.
“I had a mom and a big sister,” she said. “I knew what was going on, and a lot of other girls didn’t. Then you hear all these people’s period horror stories. It helped me focus what I wanted the business to be about.”
Bloom now offers a “Period Starter Kit” intended for parents, aunts or grandparents to buy for the young women in their families before they even get their periods. It includes a guide for girls that’s not strictly about biology but explains why they’re feeling more emotional and why their bodies are changing. It also comes with a few fun goodies, including lip balm, nail polish and a pouch to slip into a backpack.
“The whole camp started getting care packages in the mail with tampons and panty liners and candy, all perfectly timed for their cycle,” exclaims the “Camp Gyno” actress in the commercial, sounding frustrated that her fellow campers no longer need her period expertise thanks to their new “Period Starter Kits.”
“It’s like Santa, for your vagina!” she added.
“Camp Gyno” has gone wildly viral, receiving more than 461,000 YouTube views since it was originally posted on July 28, obviously striking a chord with its viewers.
“The tone is very realistic,” Bloom explained. “The ‘Camp Gyno’ rises to this position of power, and she gets kind of mean, but you still need to love her, because we wanted her to be relatable. Everyone’s gone through stuff like this, obviously.”
Bloom said it took about nine months to perfect the commercial’s script, and judging by the influx of orders she’s gotten since it first appeared, it seems her hard work has paid off one period at a time.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Susan Scutti, CNN
Magdala Louissaint, KPVI
Josh Friesen, Idaho State Journal
Jamiel Lynch and Debra Goldschmidt, CNN