How This Ad Copywriter Found Herself on Screen Doing a Bawdy Commercial for Female Condoms

Amanda Burch pitches the FC2

Headshot of T.L. Stanley

If you’re introducing a female condom to U.S. consumers for the first time, you’d better address the elephant in the room: How does this weird-looking thing even work?

Leave it to Amanda Burch, a senior advertising copywriter turned on-air talent, to demonstrate and explain, via naked hula hooping, references to petite pink canoes and reverse cowgirl, and nudges to, in her words, “dock that dong and get it on.”

So, it’s not exactly a SFW commercial, though the nudity is pixelated. Its language is candid, and flat-out hilarious, as Burch brings her “unsolicited advice about boning” to a digital video launching today for the only FDA-approved female condom, the FC2 from Veru Healthcare.

The three-minute ad started as a spec piece, part of boutique agency New Honor Society’s pitch to win the Veru business. It was a “swing for the fences” moment, Burch told AdFreak, during which she read her own script and “put a little flair on it because I was selling my idea.”

The brand liked it so much that they shelved the idea of hiring an influencer or famous boundary-pushing comedian. (Sarah Silverman was “very interested,” according to New Honor Society chief creative officer Heidi Singleton, but may have been too expensive for the project’s budget.)

So Burch, who “tried out for every single middle-school play and never got cast in anything,” kicks off her on-camera side hustle as the brand’s first spokeswoman in “Down and Dirty with the Female Condom.”

She said writing the spot was “not a stretch because I’m the target demo—late 20s, early 30s, in a long-term relationship. And I just wanted to do something that my girlfriends would think was funny and outrageous. I was kind of seeing what I could get away with.”

Quite a bit, as it turns out, with the marketer giving its blessing to the “fearless, no-holds-barred approach to both the strategy and the creative execution,” Brian J. Groch, Veru’s chief commercial officer, said in a statement. That involves nude cartwheels, a painting of male private parts, and Burch in the top half (only) of a construction worker’s outfit.

Burch, after letting viewers know in the first frames that she’s “the author of nothing and the star of nobody cares,” dispels some misconceptions about female condoms, talks about how to use them and throws in a few of her own favorite sexual moves via pantomime and tons of bleeped descriptions.

“You can’t play it straight with this kind of product,” Singleton told AdFreak. “People will make fun of you if you don’t make fun of yourself.”

Still, she was “a little nervous” to see how the brand would react and pleasantly surprised that Veru wanted New Honor Society and Burch for its first mainstream campaign. “They loved the girl-next-door aspect of Amanda and the charm she had,” Singleton said.

The campaign will appear on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and the product’s landing page. There may be more video content coming—”Some of my best work ended up on the cutting room floor,” Burch joked—after the initial debut.

Client – Veru Healthcare
Brian J Groch, Chief Commercial Officer
Catherine Boland, Marketing Manager
Agency – New Honor Society
Chief Creative Officer – Heidi Singleton
President – Holly Aguirre
Creative Director – Matt Glarner
Executive Producer – Derek Burr
Art Director – Rebecca Wulf and Brenna Vaughan
Copywriter/Actor – Amanda Burch
Account Director – Tracee Champa
Account Supervisor – Rimante Ivoskaite
Production Company – Bad Dog Pictures
Postproduction Company – Coolfire Studios

@TLStanleyLA T.L. Stanley is a senior editor at Adweek, where she specializes in consumer trends, cannabis marketing, meat alternatives, pop culture, challenger brands and creativity.