It’s no secret that feminism has become a highly topical and spirited point of discussion over the last year and increasingly more brands are joining the conversation. The issue of female empowerment is enabling brands both an opportunity and a challenging landscape on which to compete, and some are doing better than others.
Perhaps the main difficulty brands face is in tackling the issue of authenticity. For companies like Pantene, Topshop and Under Armour, feminine power is a natural extension of these brands’ DNA. But for others where the association is not so apparent, it can become a struggle, in most cases doing more harm than good. The key is to find legitimate links to female empowerment as a company, or, in other words, to practice what you preach. If a company supports women publicly, then they better be sure to do the same internally.
In celebration of today’s 104th International Women’s Day here are our top 5 best practice examples of brands that are avoiding the ‘pinkwash’ this #IWD2015. WGSN subscribers can also click here to read our Feminism in Marketing report, and its further applications for brands.
The Clinton Foundation’s ‘Not There’ campaign
If you live in New York City you may have noticed Serena Williams vanish from a giant Beats billboard in Times Square today, as well as numerous other women from advertising across the city. The Clinton Foundation in partnership with ad firm Droga5 has taken over around 40 different ads citywide, cutting-out the women with permission from companies such as Condé Nast and Beats. The campaign is aimed at driving traffic to a report by the foundation on the status of women across the globe using the slogan ‘We’re not there yet.’
Women’s Aid & WCRS’ ‘Look At Me’ advertisement
A collaboration between London ad agency WCRS, charity Women’s Aid and photographer Rankin is our number one pick for the most digitally innovative campaign. The ad uses facial recognition technology to create an interactive billboard at London’s Canary Wharf. The ad shows a woman whose bruised face slowly heals when viewers pay attention to the ad, which reads “Look At Me.”
The Salvation Army’s #thedress advertisement
The Salvation Army has capitalized on the staggering viral impact of #thedress as a way of raising awareness of domestic violence. The slogan, “Why is it so hard to see black and blue,” going along with an image of bruised woman wearing a white and gold dress, sends across a strong message that is both timely and powerful this International Women’s Day.
Always’ #LikeAGirl sequel
Feminine hygiene company Always has unveiled a follow-up campaign to its highly successful #LikeAGirl video which has been viewed over 56 million times. The video follows on the theme of redefining the phrase and what feminine power means.
Youtube’s #DearMe positive affirmations campaign
Youtube has released a campaign with the hashtag #DearMe aimed at encouraging women to share advice with their younger self. The campaign aims to produce powerful affirmations for young women and has been supported by a number of Youtube’s biggest influencers like Michelle Phan, next to the site’s CEO Susan Wojcick.