Evofem debuts TV ads for new-style birth control, encouraging millennials to 'Get Phexxi'

Condom Cait is unimpressed with her birth control choices in Evofem Biosciences' new TV ad for its Phexxi brand contraceptive. (Evofem Biosciences)

Six months after Evofem Biosciences launched its Phexxi contraceptive, it's back with a hip and irreverent TV campaign targeting a millennial audience. 

Airing for the first time on Valentine's Day, "Get Phexxi" introduces Condom Cait, The Pill Pia and Cycle Tracking Terra who obviously use various birth control approaches—but, in their case, with limited enthusiasm. Evofem offers Phexxi as a more empowering alternative.

The ad points out the downsides of more traditional forms of contraception. Condom Cait, for instance, refuses to put hormones in her body but hates having to rely on her partner to use condoms. The Pill Pia wonders why she’s on birth control all the time even when she doesn't need it.

Phexxi works differently, and the ads offer it as an empowering alternative. A non-hormonal gel, Phexxi is inserted in a similar fashion to a tampon and keeps vaginal pH within a range inhospitable to sperm, or 3.5 to 4.5 acidity. When used properly, it boasts an efficacy of 93%, on par with traditional hormonal options.

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Evofem isn't abandoning millennial-friendly social media and digital outreach in promoting Phexxi, but adding more traditional TV may still seem like an odd choice for its target audience of women in their 20s and 30s.

But the pandemic has changed the rules, according to Evofem’s market research. With more people stuck at home, more people have been tuning back into TV.

The national campaign, which includes 30-second and 60-second spots, is running on broadcast and cable as well as streaming services and YouTube.

“Broadcast gives us the ability to introduce this brand in really a powerful way," Chief Commercial Officer Russ Barrans said, adding, "We’re reaching a bigger audience [than we would have before] because of the fact that women have started gravitating back to some of the more traditional ways."

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In first three days since the spot aired, the company’s telemedicine partner Populus received three times the number of inquiries that it usually sees in a week, Barrans said.

And there's more to come from Phexxi. The company is working on expanding into e-commerce with the plan of providing more options for women who come to the site—as Barrans says, “one-stop shopping.”