The Feminist “Bandwagon” in Advertising
I’ve been hearing some complaints lately about a new swing in advertising – the swing toward female-focused, feminist, and female empowering messages in ads…
Because, oh my word how distasteful. We’re already hearing about gender equality endlessly on social media, now we have to be bombarded with it in commercials!
“men are being alienated in the media”
“mountains out of molehills”
“Advertisers are still selling something, and women are falling for it.”
“I can’t keep track of all the female ‘issues’…”
Do I want to be considered smart?
Do I want equal pay?
Do I want equal opportunity?
Or do I want to feel beautiful?
Yes. Yes, I do.
Advertisers, I will gladly take your commercial – with a side of female-focused empowerment advertising.
Advertisers have been selling to us for ages by making us feel bad, ugly, and not good enough…
It’s about time they started selling to us by making us feel good.
What is “female-focused”, “feminist”, and “empowerment” advertising?
Well, Dove has been doing it on the beauty front with their self esteem project, and the battle against unrealistic standards of beauty:
Verizon also recently came out with a powerful commercial about the social cues we often give our girls growing up that push them toward the aesthetic and away from science and math:
The latest is one of my favorites and it comes from the brand Always and their #likeagirl campaign:
I am aware that a lot of advertising campaigns might be more concerned about raising brand awareness by toying with my emotions than they are about actual social change.
I don’t care.
because along with the money that comes with being a giant company, also comes a bullhorn and responsibility. If a brand can capitalize on making a difference, kudos to them.
I hope a hundred billion companies decide to advertise by jumping on the feminist “bandwagon”…
because the line between bandwagon and a movement is often undetectable.
Grab an instrument and play along, or get out of the way.
Sell me your car with a commercial where the woman (instead of the man) asks all the questions at the dealership.
Film all the inspiring and challenging words that come out of woman’s mouth, and then sell me your lip gloss as she finally swipes it across her lips before stepping out to do her TED Talk.
Make me want to buy your shoes buy encouraging girls to stand tall instead of shrink in certain situations.
We are a consumerist society, so companies with products have the loudest bullhorns.
The more bullhorns we have on the “feminist” side, the higher that pendulum will swing…
and to those that are crying “overkill”, just know that it has to swing high in order to finally come to rest equally in the middle.
Creating a generation of women who feel and are treated like they’re worth it takes nothing away from the worth of men.
I know that advertisers are in the business of selling…
but if they can also start meaningful dialogue, open minds, and empower the upcoming generation…
then I’m in the business of buying.
PS – I am aware that I may have just given away some pretty good advertising ideas. If your company wishes to hire me, I am available.