Truelab approached CIA Bootleg Manila to do a feasibility study on the introduction of an entirely new brand of contraceptives to the Philippine market. In an industry dominated by the contraceptive pill and latex prophylactics, the company was considering bringing in a foreign brand called VCF, the concept and methods of which were completely unfamiliar in the local setting. VCF is a brand of vaginal contraceptive films that are inserted into a woman's cervix prior to engaging in intercourse, containing spermicides that neutralize sperm cells upon contact.
Apart from determining whether or not it was worth the effort to introduce a novel product to the market, it was also CIA Bootleg Manila's task to formulate a plan on how to penetrate an industry dominated by big players and how to change consumer behavior that is deeply personal, intimate and set in its ways.
Brand DNA & Strategy
CIA Bootleg's team did an in-depth analysis of the contraceptive industry, an ethnographic study on consumer behavior surrounding contraceptive purchase, and comprehensive interviews of leading OB-Gynecologists, Reproductive Health experts and Sex Therapists. CIA Bootleg's team of psychologists also conducted intimate interview sessions with sexually active couples, married and unmarried, on sexual practices and preferences.
From all the insights gathered in CIA Bootleg's intensive research, it was clear that VCF had all the potential to break through the contraceptive industry. While the market had grown accustomed to what has been available for decades, the studies had shown an alarming rate of dissatisfaction with the current products of contraceptives. Many are concerned with the hormonal changes and side effects brought about by contraceptive pills, while others are bothered by the lack of sensation a condom gives.
CIA Bootleg saw this as an opportunity for VCF to position itself as the most natural choice of contraception, in terms of both female body chemistry and sexual sensation. To be introduced with the tagline “Feel Real. With VCF.”, it was to be targeted to committed, sexually active couples who are willing to be physically and emotionally intimate, who are considerate of each other's needs, and who are open to explore possibilities together.
The challenge of disseminating information and education on the use of VCF would be mitigated by turning to the expertise and influence of doctors, reproductive health care workers, sex therapists and bloggers. The strategic distribution channels outlined were intended to accelerate consumer education while increasing its presence in the market.
Merely a few weeks after the project ended, VCF had begun to make its mark. It gained the approval and recommendation of the Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society, as well as the OB-Gyne departments and other doctors of various hospitals. It is now endorsed by psychologist and renowned sex therapist Rica Cruz. VCF also has a very active online presence, with its followers continuously growing exponentially. It has also been featured by and regularly available for purchase from BeautyMNL, one of the country's top sites on beauty, health & wellness, and general women's lifestyle. Apart from its commitment to providing its customers with ease and convenience of purchase through consistent online availability, VCF is now accessible at MedExpress Drugstores found in leading hospitals. In a span of a few months, VCF is starting to be recognized as the safest method of birth control.