Just like the society, the advertising and marketing world has been unfair to women. From under representing them to misrepresenting them, ads have done it all. Women have been portrayed as sex object in men's deodorant ads, brainwashed to believe that fair skin will bring them success via ads of cosmetic products, given the wrong precedence when it comes to body sizes, and shown subordinate to men in a majority of the ads up until the early 2000s.
It is shameful and unfortunate that an entire industry which prides itself as the creative brain of the business world and has the power to influence society at large chose to not use its muscle in a more positive manner. However, with the collective conscience and consciousness of the society taking a leap from those times towards a more considerate era, we have seen some stellar ads campaigns from brands that tried to project women as they need to be and as they should have been all these years.
Let's take a look at some of these -
Like a Girl
As a part of this campaign, Several tens of people were asked to do something 'like a girl'. They were asked to run like a girl, throw like a girl and do various other activities. The way people reacted established it early on that 'like a girl' was more of an insult. But as the ad unfolds, we're made aware that like a girl is far from an insult. In fact, it should be the highest degree of compliment, because there are some things only women are capable of.
Real Beauty Sketches
This 6 minute long ad breaks the stereotypical notions of beauty standards that women have to grow up with, courtesy years of negative, sexist advertising. In this ad, women are asked to describe themselves to a sketch artist. They usually downplay their own self because of the years of negative conditioning they've grown up with. On the other hand, strangers are asked to describe those women to the sketch artist. The result? Two strikingly different portraits of the same women.
The underlying message is that women often under-represent their own selves because they have been made to buy into the image of unattainable beauty standards. But that is not beauty. That is a hoax perpetuated by advertisements and fashion magazines.
You Can't Stop Us
Since the past few years, Nike has been actively rooting for female athletes and women empowerment. It's advertising agency Wieden + Kennedy won the Cannes Lions in 2019 for its Dream Crazy campaign. And this "You Can't Stop Us" is several notches higher!
For this campaign, Wieden + Kennedy analyzed over 4,000 sports sequences to source 73 clips of over 50 athletes. This campaign was a call for female voices to be heard. It was a signal to the world that no matter what age, race, country, or religion, women are an unstoppable force. This campaign blew up social media in the most unimaginable way possible, garnering 40 million views within a month of its release.
Have a favorite women centric campaign? Share it in the comments