Female Empowerment as a Marketing Trend: 4 of the Most Memorable Feminist Brand Campaigns

Brands can no longer ignore women. The world has come a long way. Nowadays, you can find women in corporate positions leading businesses, in laboratories making scientific discoveries, making machines and developing apps, and governing entire countries.

As women ascend and assume important roles in the workplace, their capacity to spend increases. Since the ’70s, women have been responsible for the increase in household incomes in the United States. Women now make up the majority of consumer spending across the nation.

The market is shifting and many brands have started to recognize how marketing to female customers would boost profits and be beneficial for growth. This is reflected in advertising.

Depiction of Women in Ads

Women, historically, have always been presented in an idealized version as imagined by men in marketing campaigns. That no longer is the case.

Because women are now the target audience, advertising is moving toward empowerment. In the past couple of years, the number of ads that promote positive messages about women has increased.

Many of these ads have become very successful. Others, however, painfully failed because their message did not resonate with the public.

Businesses, who want to empower women through advertising should hire a reputable digital marketing agency that understands what it means to be a feminist and is aware of the struggles that half of the population faces every day.

Here are the best ads that empower women.

Always’ #LikeAGirl

The term “like a girl” has always been an insult because it meant weak or dependent. It is not just men who used it to offend; women believed that it is a negative phrase, too.

However, Always, a brand of menstrual products tried to change that.

An ad released in 2014 showed what the term “like a girl” means to little girls. When asked to run like a girl, the girls ran as fast as they could. When asked to fight like a girl, they punched and kicked as hard as they could.

The video has since been viewed nearly 69,000,00 times and, six years later, its message still resonates.

Dove’s Real Beauty

women of colorDove has always set itself apart from other products targeted toward women. The brand made it clear from the start that it is not interested in pointing out the flaws of its consumers. Its ads do not promise to make women more desirable to men.

Dove celebrates all women of all shapes and sizes. It does not want women to aspire to look like models. The brand wants women to embrace their appearances, even if they do not conform to the very restrictive idea of beauty according to mass media.

The Real Beauty campaign explored the gap between how women perceive their appearance and how other people actually see them. In an ad, Dove recruited a forensic artist who, throughout the exercise, was behind a curtain, sketching.

In the first part of the ad, women were asked to describe themselves to the forensic artist. In the second part, the participants were tasked to describe the appearance of the women.

The women were much harder on themselves. They pointed out features that they do not like or what other people in their lives said were their flaws. The strangers were kinder.

GoldieBlox’s Princess Machine

Girls like dolls. Boys like cars. That has always been the way toys are marketed toward kids.

GoldieBlox, however, believes that not all girls wanted to become princesses. The company develops materials that aim to spark an interest in engineering among girls. In 2013, they released “Princess Machine.”

In the video, three young girls created a princess machine using their toys and other materials around the house. It showed the ingenuity, resourcefulness, and understanding of the basic principles of engineering.

Pantene’s Labels Against Women

In a campaign that ran in 2013, Pantene Philippines explore the double standards women face from society. In the ad, women and men were seen doing the exact same things. However, while men were lauded and praised for their actions, women received insults and harsh judgments.

A male leader, for example, gets called a boss and earns the respect of his peers. A female leader, on the other hand, is described as bossy. A father who works hard is dedicated while a mother who does the same is selfish.

It is a powerful ad with a hard-hitting message about the way society treats men and women.

These ads did not end sexism, of course, but they sparked a conversation. They tried to change the way the public thinks about how women are perceived. These ads were able to communicate a positive message about women.