Two sister contraceptive brands use animation to make the science of pills less scary
Wanting to shed shame around oral contraception, Dirt & Glory Media turn to Lydia Reid for an approachable explainer promo.
- Liz Gorny
- 16 November 2022
EllaOne, an emergency contraceptive pill, and Hana, a daily contraceptive pill, have released two one-minute animations explaining how their medication works. Yet, rather than the typical “Here’s the science bit” video, which can often serve to alienate viewers, the brands teamed up with Dirt & Glory Media and animator Lydia Reid. Having in the past worked on titles like This is Why Girls Go to the Bathroom Together, alongside personality-filled works for Marmite, Lydia brings a more playful approach. In turn, final promos illustrate why we need to start rethinking the visuals around contraception.
Dirt & Glory Media got in touch with Lydia Reid after finding the animator’s work on Instagram. “They contacted me earlier in the year after news leaked that Roe v. Wade was about to be overturned,” Lydia tells It’s Nice That, “which confirmed how important and accessible contraception needs to be. I felt extremely honoured that they would trust me with creating these videos.”
From the offset, Lydia and Dirt & Glory decided that the videos had to fulfil two focus areas. Firstly, they had to be informative; “the images needed to be very clear and easy to understand as we were explaining a scientific process,” Lydia says. Equally important was that they had to draw viewers in, going beyond approachable into actually looking fun.
The final videos break down the journey of contraceptive pills through the anatomical body, showing how pregnancy can happen and how EllaOne and Hana can prevent it. Bright colours and playful character accents are utilised, with Lydia’s animation style remaining at the forefront throughout.
In terms of focal points for the project: “Inclusivity was a big priority for us. Even though most of the shots take place inside the body and anatomy, we wanted the few characters that are featured to reflect a range of body types, races, ages and genders,” Lydia explains. “We wanted to show that these products are accessible and available to anybody with a uterus, and to show that anybody who does use them, should feel free to do so without fear of judgement or stigma.”
The animator draws on the brand identities already established by the two companies through type and colour palettes. Then, to bring cohesion to the individual videos, Lydia applies some of the same design elements across both. “I even used a couple of the same shots in both animations- but I changed the colour palettes and flipped the whole shot, so they were still unique.”
Lydia Reid / Dirt & Glory Media: EllaOne (Copyright © EllaOne, 2022)
About the Author
Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating in Film from The University of Bristol, she worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, INDIE magazine and design studio Evermade.