The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day on March 8 is #BeBoldForChange, and adland has answered the call.
From iconic packaging redesigns to special edition girl power emojis and reimagined soccer jerseys, brands and agencies are creatively fighting gender parity through bold campaigns.
Read on to learn how these brands have committed to #BeBoldForChange and foster a more gender-inclusive world.
Brawny and Cutwater
Move over, Brawny Man. The paper towel brand’s iconic packaging is getting a makeover just in time for Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day. The packaging’s famous lumberjack is now a woman and kicks off Brawny’s #StrengthHasNoGender campaign, which will also include TV spots featuring the stories of inspiring women like Serena Williams, Harriet Tubman and Amelia Earhart.
P&G and Badger & Winters
P&G is also using International Women’s Day as a platform to share the brand’s commitment to equality. Devised by Badger & Winters—the agency behind the viral #WomenNotObjects campaign—#WeSeeEqual uses statements like “Equations don’t care who solve them,” “Tears don’t care who cry them” and “Households don’t care who run them” to illustrate the brand’s stance on gender parity.
Adidas and Edelman Deportivo
Adidas’ newest campaign, #InYourName, has teamed up with the Swedish national women’s soccer team to promote women’s empowerment. The campaign trades the players’ last names on their jerseys with inspiring quotes like “Believe in your damn self” (from Swedish singer Zara Larsson’s Twitter) and “I’m not bossy, I’m the boss” to inspire other women.
The Adidas jerseys will go on sale on International Women’s Day, and 10 percent of the proceeds will go to Swedish organizations that aid girls’ sports.
Following up on its successful “What If Scientists Were Celebrities?” spot, which imagines a world in which female scientists are treated like celebrities, GE has released a “SciMoji” sticker pack in honor of Women’s History Month. The emoji pack, which is available in the app store, features several female scientists including engineer Millie Dresselhaus; Katharine Burr Blodgett, the first woman to graduate with a PhD from the University of Cambridge; Lise Meitner, one of the scientists to first discover uranium’s nuclear fission; and many more.
Association of National Advertisers and MTV
Last June, the Association of National Advertisers launched #SeeHer, an initiative aimed at addressing and combating the advertising industry’s gender parity. In honor of Women’s History Month, MTV has joined forces with ANA to roll out a new campaign, “A Woman Did That.”
Featuring minute-long spots that highlight the achievements of women, the campaign hopes to raise awareness for #SeeHer. "Raising awareness of #SeeHer and our mission for more accurate representation for all women and girls in media through 'A Woman Did That' programming during Women's History Month is a pivotal step for us," ANA CEO Bob Liodice told AdAge.
Watch the campaign’s first two spots here.
Benetton and Creativeland Asia
Benetton launched a women’s empowerment campaign in India last month for Valentine’s Day, but the brand will roll now it out globally for International Women’s Day. #UnitedByHalf features a series of Indian woman taking control or exerting power and concludes with the line, “Women have been denied their half for far too long. Let us unite for the equal half.”
Said Chiara Mio, head of Benetton’s sustainability and women empowerment initiatives in a statement: "We're proud to be working on direct projects to improve the lives of women in developing countries but, with a major presence in India, we want to do more. This new campaign takes our message of women empowerment directly into one of our biggest global markets, notably for menswear.”
UBS and Publicis
UBS is supporting International Women’s Day through the lens of women in business. The film, created by Publicis, flashes questions across the screen that a working woman is sure to ask herself at least once. The campaign is also set to Joss Stone’s new song “Free Me” and includes a behind-the-scenes video where Stone discusses her personal gender equality experience.
Microsoft and M:United/McCann
On International Women’s Day, Microsoft will roll out the next installment of its #MakeWhatsNext campaign, an initiative to promote more women in STEM. Its new spot, created by M:United/McCann, Microsoft spotlights young girls’ enthusiasm about fighting climate change and finding the cure for breast cancer before it hits them with the current statistics about women in STEM. Watch the spot to learn the girls’ empowering responses.
State Street Global Advisors and McCann New York
If you walk down Wall Street this week, you’ll notice a striking difference—Bowling Green Park’s iconic Charging Bull statue is facing off against a statue of a young girl. State Street Global Advisors worked with McCann New York to pull off the stunt and advocate for the fearlessness and strength of women in leadership in honor of International Women’s Day.
SSGA’s “Fearless Girl” campaign is asking 3,500 companies to commit to increasing the number of women in leadership positions. “We believe good corporate governance is a function of strong, effective and independent board leadership,” said SSGA president and CEO Ron O’Hanley in a statement.
BETC Sao Paulo
To celebrate International Women’s Day, BETC Sao Paulo created Woman Interrupted, an app that tracks exactly how many times men interrupt a woman. The campaign, which calls for “the right of full speech,” features clips of notable pop culture and media moments in which woman are talked over and literally shushed.
ONE and Droga5
Advocacy organization ONE has teamed up with Droga5 this International Women’s Day to raise awareness for the 130 million girls worldwide who are unable to attend school and attain an education. To fight for each of the affected girls, the campaign is asking people to count themselves in a video until it reaches the full 130 million. Learn more here.
Nike and Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam
Over the past year, Nike has launched several memorable, equality-driven campaigns, and it’s not slowing down for International Women’s Day. The brand is globally launching three films that were initially created for the Middle East, Turkey and Russia markets, each of which challenges gender stereotypes.
Learn how adland is working toward greater gender equality here.