Why Knix made a rap video about leakproof underwear

Who: Knix, with Hard Work Club, Skin & Bones for production (directed by Kelsey Larkin), post-production by Outsider, and Studio Feather, audio by SNDWRx.

What: “Every Body in Leakproof,” an advertising campaign for the Canadian company’s leakproof underwear.

When & Where: The campaign includes TV, online video and out of home, running across Canada and the U.S.

Why: A big part of the Knix success story revolves around the determination of the brand’s founder Joanna Griffiths to change the conversation about women’s bodies: Natural functions like sweat, menstruation and bladder leaks are nothing to be ashamed of. Knix products are designed for those normal leaks, and the brand communications generally state loudly and clearly that women should not apologize for their bodies.

That theme continues in this new spot. “We wanted to bring our brand mission to life in an energetic and kinetic setting that reminds our consumers that our products are designed for every body,” said Barry Alexander, Knix’s vice-president of brand marketing, in a release introducing the campaign.  The campaign, he said, “inspires our community to live unapologetically free.”

How: The campaign is anchored by a minute-plus rap video/commercial that shows women in Knix Leakproof underwear dancing and performing other strenuous activities “carefree.”

“Tone was one of our great considerations when going into production,” said Meghan Kraemer, partner and creative director at Hard Work Club, which started working with Knix this past summer. They wanted the cast to seem commanding and powerful, but with a sense of fun and playfulness as well. “We couldn’t be too far on either end of the spectrum. If it was too ‘badass’ it would be insincere. Whereas if it was too playful, it could feel like satire. We looked for elements (like the umbrellas) and moments (like the sneeze) to help us hit the right note.”

The sneeze was important? It breaks up the spot with some levity, and was there from the first script, said Kraemer. “It’s an incredibly relatable moment and an ‘if you know, you know’ wink for our target. We had an insanely full shoot day, so we only had a couple of sneeze takes to choose from, but we knew we had to include it in the edit. The intention was all about finding that balance around tone, a can’t-miss sign that we’re not taking ourselves too seriously.”

The lyrics: There may be some nuance and metaphor in what the women are doing—like splashing red paint on walls—but the lyrics from rapper turned advocate and entrepreneur Exmiranda are fairly unambiguous.

Hit me with the blood, sweat and pee.

We leakproof. We leakproof.

What’s a little blood, sweat and pee?

‘Cause I can run, yeah I can sneeze.

And my flow ain’t nothing to me.

I made a human, don’t know where you been.

We leakproof. 

Outdoor: The out-of-home ads are equally unapologetic, with headlines that read “What’s a little blood, sweat and pee?” “We’ve never seen a brand bold enough to put the words “blood” and “pee” on a billboard,” said Kraemer.

And we quote: “Knix is a true glass ceiling-smashing brand that has championed being raw, unapologetically free and real since day one… We wanted this campaign to get honest about body leaks, but be deliberately playful doing it. A music video and early aughts inspired track felt like an interesting way to topple the taboos around blood, sweat and pee.” — Meghan Kraemer, partner and creative director, Hard Work Club


David Brown