As Beyoncé so eloquently put it: Girls. Ladies be workin’ like a boss.
And big companies are starting to care about it. Always and Dove’s multi-year campaigns, ‘Like a Girl’ and the ‘Campaign for Real Beauty’ respectively, have been putting the spotlight on how women don’t suck. Both of these inspired ad campaigns are meant to empower both women and girls to feel comfortable and confident in their own skin, and understand their value as a person, as well as asking the question: When did “doing something like a girl” become an insult?
Whisper created the hilarious new #touchthepickle campaign in India to try and bust taboos about what women supposedly shouldn’t do while on their period. Executed by P&G India, the hashtag refers to a belief that if a woman touches a jar of pickles while on her period, the pickles will rot inside. WHAT? The campaign included a YouTube video that reached 2 million views, where the brand asked women to share their oddest period taboos on social media. This engaged consumers even further and allowed them to connect with the campaign on a personal level through contributing to the video directly via social media. In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8th (which, no, is not just a day to say women are pretty: see?), a company called Zalora in Singapore launched its ‘Go Red for Women’ campaign.This campaign encouraged women to take control of their own health and spread awareness about heart disease, which is the number two killer of women in Singapore.
Other campaigns around the world are focusing on pay parity, the “confidence gap” between women and their own abilities. This campaign promotes that men can help with what has always been considered “women’s work” (This is a good one), and simply inspires girls to kick butt.
The over-arching theme is one that, if executed correctly, can resonate with both men and women alike; and, hopefully, make some changes around the world. Globally, ladies don’t get much respect. Check out the #autocompletetruths campaign by Memac Ogilvy and Mather for UN women in Dubai. The name of the campaign refers to the Google autocomplete function that produces some pretty horrible (read- f’ed up) endings for sentences that start with “women”. Ranging anywhere from “women shouldn’t work” to “women need to be put in their place”, the results are pretty shocking. The campaign was wildly successful in creating a dialogue about women’s rights and issues with over 24 million mentions on Twitter and appeared on social media in a hundred different countries. Bold campaigns like this can be truly effective in changing the world if the right tone is used…and companies can do some good while remembering that over half the planet’s population “does things like a girl”.