Propaganda helps GenM reach men with important menopause message

The world’s first menopause partner for brands, GenM, appointed Propaganda to develop and orchestrate its first campaign of 2022. Having relaunched its proposition in October 2021, GenM is a world-first collective of responsible brands and organisations that recognise and respond to the needs of menopausal people.

Now, their second national campaign (titled ‘Shattered’) will highlight the importance of men understanding the menopause and the mental and physical effects it can have on the women in their lives. ‘Shattered’ will run through February, featuring on 6-sheet and 48-sheet billboards and gym screens across the nation, as well as digital advertising on the Guardian website throughout the month.

Designed by Propaganda’s creative team, the two striking visuals feature a broken glass effect laid over a black and white portrait of a man and one of a women, demonstrating the shocking and life-changing effects that the menopause can have on lives. The text reads, “Men: Misunderstanding the menopause shatters lives”.

In addition to the adverts, Propaganda has also ‘shattered’ the GenM website. Upon opening the site, the usual homepage suddenly cracks and disintegrates while the campaign visuals appear in an eye-catching animation, forcing viewers to take notice. Propaganda has also designed a ‘shattered’ GenM logo that will feature on the organisation’s social media pages, and has created the same for all of GenM’s Founding Partner brands.

‘Shattered’ was inspired by the story of David Salmon – a man from Yorkshire whose wife, Linda, sadly took her life in April 2020 at just 56 years of age. In addition to the pressures of lockdown and the pandemic, Linda’s mental health had nosedived as a result of entering the perimenopause (the transition period before menopause) and she had been signed off work with anxiety. Days later, she took her own life. More on David’s story can be found here.

David is determined to spread awareness about the invisible mental impact of the menopause so that no other families have to experience what he has been through. GenM and Propaganda approached David after seeing his story in the news and this campaign has been built around him with his input throughout.

Chairman of Propaganda, Julian Kynaston says, “We’re so pleased to be able to bring attention to a very important cause with this striking campaign. We wanted to do something that would draw the eye and really wake people up, which is why Alicja Kowalczyk, our Design Director, chose the smashed glass effect. We worked with David on the concept and feel of the campaign, as well as the tone of the copy, helping us authentically portray his feelings, and also making sure that it would get through to people like himself.”

Heather Jackson, co-founder of GenM, says, “We would like to say a huge thank you to David for being a champion for the menopause. He knows firsthand how misunderstanding it can shatter lives and hopefully he can be an inspiration to men, and to everyone, to learn more about its effects. The menopause is different for everybody and not all will have such a difficult time with it. But everyone who’s been through it would agree that their experience could have been better, and that’s what we’re working towards – improving the menopause experience for all.”