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Case Study

Give your Fanny Five – The Lady Garden Foundation ft native & Havas

It’s a place where lifelong friendships are made, young people are empowered, and important messages are shared. 

We’re talking about the average Freshers Fair, of course. But we’re also talking about the average nightclub bathroom. A space filled with female energy, compliments and candid conversations. Odes to the girl’s loos are numerous, and with good reason; everyone is welcome, and it is a place where social taboos are flushed away.

So, what if we took that bathroom and dropped it right in the middle of 13 Freshers Fairs?

In this campaign – executed on behalf of gynae health charity, Lady Garden Foundation – we did exactly that. 

The context: planting the seeds 

Often flying under the radar, with complicated symptoms, gynaecological cancers are shrouded in mystery. Many people simply don’t talk about them, much less know what signs and symptoms to look out for. 

 These taboos are being passed onto the next generation. While native’s research shows that healthcare is the number-one issue that Gen Z students care about, one in three young women who are invited to a cervical screening do not take up the offer. 

With 58 people receiving a gynaecological cancer diagnosis every single day in the UK, The Lady Garden Foundation has made it their mission to raise awareness and funding for gynaecological health. This includes busting myths about gynae health and educating everyone on how to prevent and notice gynaecological cancer symptoms early.

Most uni students are aged 18-24, meaning they actually fall below screening age. But the journey to being comfortable with that smear test – and with one’s own body – begins a lot earlier. 

The challenge: watering the shoots

When the Lady Garden Foundation approached native ahead of Freshers 2023, they did so with a goal to inform students of the signs and symptoms of the five gynae cancers, and generate awareness of the Lady Garden Foundation itself. 

“It’s about reaching them while they’re having the freshest conversations of their lives so far”, explains Mia Weston – Brand Manager at the Lady Garden Foundation. “Freshers is where they meet the most people, and where conversations about taboo-breaking topics come up. Our goal was to connect with students early, so they can take that information with them throughout their entire life”. 

The solution: let the garden grow 

The campaign – Give your Fanny Five – was a collaborative effort. With the Lady Garden Foundation in the driving seat, it was fuelled by the creative juices of Manchester-based agency Havas Lynx Group. At native, we’re the gateway to 72 university campuses across the UK – our long-term partners with Students’ Unions mean we are best-placed to connect brands and orgs with students at scale. We made it our mission to ensure that the Give Your Fanny Five campaign reached all of its strategic destinations. 

Mia describes the concept as “bold – definitely student focused”. Give your Fanny Five invites young people to spend just five minutes getting to know their bodies. The Lady Garden Foundation produced a hero guide, The Vagina Dialogues, which takes readers through practical tips for getting to know their entire female gynaecological anatomy. Covering discharge, cancer symptoms, consent and more, the guide flies in the face of misinformation. 

The next challenge was to place The Vagina Dialogues in students’ hands – whether physically or digitally. The Lady Garden Foundation had already experienced the excitement of Freshers back in 2022, when they visited the University of Manchester Freshers’ Fair. After contacting native, they quickly realised they could go even bigger. “We kind of went into it not knowing where we could go”, explains Mia. “We needed direction and advice on that side of things, and we definitely were provided with that.”

They decided to target the locations with the lowest uptake of cervical screening – initially 10 sites – but native’s reach across 72 university campuses opened the door to these strategic locations and then some. After working with native to understand their options, The Lady Garden Foundation booked premium stalls at 13 Freshers Fairs, which they underpinned with digital screens and poster points. To keep the campaign alive online, The Lady Garden Foundation ran a paid social campaign across Facebook and Instagram. 

With the creative concepts already masterminded by Havas, it was over to us to deliver an activation that would stop students in their tracks. The idea was to bring private, “taboo” conversations about gynae health out into the open. And what better way to do that than by throwing open the bathroom door?

The Lady Garden activation

We created a bathroom fit for Freshers, with a tiled backdrop, an interactive “bath” to hold merch, and a toilet – complete with its own lady garden in full bloom. We also staffed the stand with our ambassador team. It was the perfect launchpad for The Vagina Dialogues, as well as the site of fruitful, honest conversations between Lady Garden’s ambassadors and students. 

The results: blooming fanny-tastic 

Overall, The Lady Garden Foundation has reached 59,350 students across the 13 fairs, and saw a 20x increase in website traffic during the two-month long Freshers period, introducing a whole new generation to the signs and symptoms of gynae cancers. Over 1,500 students headed back to halls with a Vag for Life bag, and 2,380 downloaded the Vagina Dialogues. Ultimately, Lady Garden Foundation was able to exceed their distribution target by 31%. 

The resources on offer

“Working with native to deliver this campaign has been fabulous”, Mia says. “It has exceeded our expectations in terms of the reaction it’s generated, with people messaging us and commenting on our socials, and talking to staff ambassadors on stand at the fairs. It’s been eye-opening for us as a charity in terms of our awareness of what we can do with student outreach and also young people generally.”

When we caught up at UCL, Mia also reflected on the value of the Freshers Fairs for charities like the Lady Garden Foundation.  “There have been a few bonuses of being here as well – networking with university doctors and GP surgeries, as well as other charities that we’ve been introduced to through the Freshers’ Fairs”. 

Looking beyond Freshers 

Of course, just as these students acquire the key information they need to be vigilant about gynae cancers, a whole new generation is waiting in the wings. “Freshers next year is pretty much a go at this point”, says Mia. “It will be a larger tour, with more locations, including further outreach into Scotland and Wales”. The tour so far has enabled the Lady Garden Foundation to secure their own email database of over 2,200 students, and recruit 80+ student ambassadors. 

Ambassadors speak to students about the Lady Garden Foundation

Mia explains: “We’re looking, long-term, to go out into schools and workplaces, so it’s been a really good stepping stone towards that. It has also solidified our interest and our funding in the educational piece.” 

For now, though, thousands of Gen Z students will kick off their uni experience knowing their body – and their gynae health – a little better.

Got a vital message to share with Gen Z students? native can help. Talk to us about our campus media opportunities today.