I am woman, hear me roar.
Did you know that advertisements are far more likely to feature a man’s face, but a woman’s body? In recent years, a number of brands have challenged this “face-ism” phenomenon by featuring strong women with powerful messages.
In anticipation of Women’s History Month in March, enjoy our roundup of the best ad campaigns featuring empowered women:
1. Dove – Real Beauty
Dove’s wildly successful campaign for “Real Beauty” features women of all shapes and sizes posing in their underwear. The brand aimed to challenge and redefine traditional beauty standards, urging women everywhere to embrace what makes them unique.
2. Always – Like a Girl
Always sets out to redefine the negative connotation of doing things “like a girl.” In this moving campaign video, the brand asks girls of all ages to think about their perceived societal limitations and write them down on boxes.
Then, each girl symbolically destroys her limitations by smashing, kicking, and even standing on top of the boxes. The brand says their campaign highlights “the sexist undertones of a phrase that many people use without thinking twice, and the effect it can have on girls’ perceptions of themselves and their abilities.”
3. Under Armour – I Will What I Want
Under Armour launched a global women’s campaign back in 2014, winning outstanding praise for its efforts. The motive behind “I Will What I Want” was to celebrate women “who had the physical and mental strength to tune out the external pressures and turn inward and chart their own course.”
Rather than urging women to feel attractive, the brand encourages them to find their inner strength — a quality far more advantageous and empowering than physical beauty.
4. Nike – Better For It
In 2015, Nike launched Better For It — a campaign urging women to take on new challenges and conquer personal goals. From several inspirational videos featuring female athletes to a hashtag encouraging women to share their own progress, the campaign has become popular amongst the brand’s widespread fanbase.
5. Neutrogena – See What’s Possible
In early 2016, Neutrogena encouraged women to “See What’s Possible.” Determined to show girls that their aspirations are within reach, the brand partnered with the Girls Inc. organization. Together, they are devoted to “helping over 250,000 girls over the next decade develop the life skills and tools they need to pursue their dreams.”
Celebrities like Kerry Washington, Julie Bowen, Jennifer Garner, and Giovanna Ewbank are all part of the initiative, sharing stories, advice, and inspiration via online videos.
6. Barbie – Imagine the Possibilities
Barbie’s “Imagine the Possibilities” campaign hopes to leave a positive impact on young girls, showing them that they can achieve anything they want in life. In this heart-warming campaign video, five girls take on their dream jobs: a college professor, a soccer coach, a veterinarian, a businesswoman, and a museum tour guide.
The brand hopes that by seeing all the different roles Barbie dolls have assumed over the years, girls will be empowered to pursue their own dreams.
7. Keds – Ladies First
In 2016, Keds celebrated its 100th anniversary with the “Ladies First” campaign. Creative print ads featuring an impressive array of female celebrities declared that “There’s no such thing as an average girl” and “Oh girl is the new oh boy.” While the brand’s approach may be more light and fun than some of the others featured in this list, its message is clear: empowered women can do anything.
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