Meet the Matriarchs - Sassy, smart and authentic women

INSTEAD of a corporate brand telling the younger generation what to expect of the future, it has turned to the people who have been there and done that.

A young creative team in their 20s and 30s in the Sydney office of the advertising agency DDB Sydney has developed a marketing campaign for Carefree's female hygiene products with its essence being matriarchal trust.

Four women - Krissy Stanley, 68, Griz Pomirska, 67, Yvonne Tozzi, 60, and Gayle Foster-Brown, 69 - talk in the advertisement about what they remember of their teenage to pre-menopause years while reviewing the current crop of Carefree products.

It's cheeky, bright and brutally honest.

Silver Creek's retail marketing executive Stuart Cumming says this Carefree advertisement is ground breaking with its use of women of more than double the age of the target market age group having an authentic conversation with those younger generations. "It comes down to people believing they are listening to something authentic, that then builds the trust," Mr Cumming said. "The Carefree ad was all about authentic storytelling. Marketing has certainly been heading in that direction in the last five years at least.

"It makes sense to have someone with experience talking as that feeds into the authenticity."

DDB Sydney executive creative director Tara Ford said the creative team came up with the idea without her input. "I am absolutely delighted when I see work like that because I am so conscious of women of a certain age absolutely disappearing from media landscapes or playing a kind of passive role in things," she said.

"I know so many hilarious older people who are so sassy, so smart and have wisdom, so why don't we show that for a change?" she adds.

Carefree's approach to their product range Ms Ford says is unapologetically feminine. She argues it's that approach that lends itself well to honest and open discussion. And who better to have that kind of women's issues discussion than older women Ms Ford says. "The older you get, the more you can say and do whatever you like, and you don't really worry so much about what people think, how you are going to look," Ms Ford, who is in her "late 40s", adds.

The creative team recognise a lot of older superstars are popping up on Instagram and the younger generations are relating to them. They are seen as being themselves, having fun and at times, and often being outrageous. "They tapped into that quite a lot," Ms Ford said.

The women, coined The Matriarchs, were drawn out of a casting call. They were presented with a handful of questions with their answers to become part of the advertisement. None of their responses were scripted so they were highly candid. The Matriarchs projected confidence, self-worth and unashamed enjoyment at being where they are with a lot of life knowledge.

"We never really discussed it. We never talked about a period, we never talked about sex, we never talked about depression," Yvonne says in the video. But times have changed, a lot. "Did you have seepage? Did you have leakage? We all talk about it now. But when I was a kid, you didn't talk about it," Krissy adds.

The online campaign has been very successful for Carefree. Ms Ford says the feedback from younger women has been "really good".

'Love it', 'bringing back the crone wisdom archetype that women have been missing', 'Love it! No topic should be off limits in these modern times, glad people can laugh and be open about it all', have been just some of the social media responses to the campaign.

Will we see more involvement of older Australians in the endorsement of products? Mr Cumming says it's really about the right person connecting with the target market. "It's not a matter of rolling out a whole lot of old people to be advocates, it's a matter of does it make sense," Mr Cumming added. "If the answer yes, then that's great. But, it's not going to happen with every product."


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