How to advertise bras to grown ups

I know finding a bra that fits and is comfortable can feel like an exhausting never ending task. I know that sometimes, when you find one that ticks all the boxes and doesn’t make you want to fling it across the room in a fit of rage at the end of the day, it feels like something you want to shout about. I can see that a search for the perfect bra could be likened to a search for a perfect relationship, but seriously, what the fuck were the Triumph marketing department on when they commissioned their “Find the One” advert?

OK, I appreciate it as a beautifully observed love letter to all the Disney fairy tale adaptations that many of us watched as kids, the song does a great job of being initially ambiguous of who or what is “The One”, and the women aren’t all white and blonde. However, who exactly do they think they are appealing to with this? If they’re going for girls who are looking for their first bra, wouldn’t they perhaps feel that a singing cartoon was, well… a little bit childish? I certainly can’t imagine many grown women saying, “I fancy heading to that shop where you sing and dance to get a bra fitting.”

Perhaps it’s a clever attempt to get little girls to remember the Triumph name when they need their first bra. Perhaps it was designed to help make the Triumph name more memorable amongst women who are not lingerie obsessives. Or maybe it’s a just a really clever way of telling us that finding a bra which looks, fits and feels good isn’t a fantasy after all. However, it left me cold. Despite my love of their bras and the wonderful videos from people I respect – like lingerie blogger Cora Harrington and beauty expert Sali Hughes – on their YouTube channel, I was mostly left feeling bemused at how any woman would want to find “The One”, when the vast majority of us usually have a wardrobe of different bra shapes and styles to suit all occasions and necklines.

Not long after this, Panache launched their Role Models campaign and I was utterly blown away.

This is a campaign that has a broad appeal, featuring women from different backgrounds who were chosen for what they’ve achieved in life and how they can inspire others. The focus is on variety, with each of the women having a different body type and modelling two different styles of underwear, but it is the the lack of focus on perfection which I truly love. Nothing about this campaign says that any of the women are perfect, or that any of the Panache styles solves every issue you’ve ever had with bras. And, even if this one had been animated too (which thankfully it’s not), the whole concept just feels more… real. The Modelled by Role Models website says:

At Panache, we believe change in the world only happens through individuals leading, inspiring and influencing. We like to call those individuals ‘role models’ […] We’ve teamed up with world renowned model Marquita Pring, Sports Therapist Amy Hughes, British T34 Paralympic wheelchair racer Hannah Cockcroft, Senior Nurse Rachel Elliott, British singer Mica Paris and blood and organ donation campaigner Martyna Kaczmarek.

Each of these extraordinary women was chosen for their individual strengths, achievements and contributions to society as well as their healthy approach to body image. We want to celebrate both the beauty of women’s bodies as well as the wonder of their success, championing the next generation of female role models and hoping to inspire others.

And they’ve most certainly inspired me. Just as there’s more to these women than looking good, this campaign suggests that there’s more to these bras than the style and that they won’t get in the way of doing what you have to do in life, whatever that may be. I want to buy from a company I connect with, and Panache have proved that they find women as amazing and inspiring as I do. Much as I love my Triumph Amourette, I also love my Panache Idina balconnet and, on this evidence, will probably be looking to Panache for my next bra purchase.

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