The best ads and activism for International Women's Day
By Gemma Wildgoose
The 8th March was International Women’s Day. We acknowledged it in our own way, including a talk from creative scientist Katherine Templar Lewis (there’s a blog about that here). Thankfully, we weren’t the only ones. Here’s a round-up of what big brands and under-the-radar activists were doing to mark the occasion… and beyond.
easyJet: Virtual pilot school
As part of its Amy Johnson initiative to inspire more girls into becoming pilots, our lovely client easyJet launched a virtual pilot school. Teachers and parents can request a virtual visit from an easyJet pilot, who’ll join classrooms and assemblies via video to talk about what the life of a pilot is really like.
Gender Pay Gap App
The purpose behind this brilliant Twitter account is clear from their bio: “Brands, if you tweet about International Women's Day, I'll retweet your gender pay gap.”
Some brands have kicked off, tried to report the account and generally been pretty unhappy about having their truth laid bare. Which is a bit rich. Hope that you don’t make an appearance here.
Women do three times more work in the home than men. Swedish activist Zara Larsson is here to promote a card game from IKEA called FiftyFifty – designed to help us have frank and fun conversations about how better to balance things out.
Burger King: Women belong in the kitchen
Some people had beef with Burger King’s approach. With just 7% of head chef roles occupied by women, Burger King were right to call it out and help change things through a scholarship programme. But when their tweet stated ‘Women belong in the kitchen’ with no context, some folk didn’t like it. There’s no arguing that the campaign got a huge response though, which was certainly their intention.
Man Who Has It All
Whilst this isn’t specifically for International Women’s Day, it couldn’t be more on the money. The account tells us the page is “top tips for men juggling a successful career and fatherhood”. The reality is that every post has its tongue so far in its bearded cheek, you’d wish you’d thought of it. Here’s a taster.
Netflix: One story away…
In addition to curating an International Women’s Day collection, streaming service Netflix continued their ‘One story away…’ campaign for International Women’s Day, showing firsts that women have achieved on the small and silver screens. Sadly, many of them are far too recent.
If you’ve got through this pandemic without hearing the phrase “You’re on mute,” I don’t believe you. But there’s been something else growing insidiously this past year: cases of domestic violence against women have increased by around 20% – that we know of. Unilever have made their policy on this public, to help support the estimated 65% of employers who don’t have one. And they’ve promoted it through this powerful video.
Billie: Think of a woman
Billie, a razor subscription brand, worked with an unconscious bias expert and diversity and corporate culture specialist to create a ‘Billie Brain Scan’ exercise. They also produced this video, to highlight how few of us really are immune. Pose star Indya Moore narrates, starting with a simple command: Think of the perfect woman.
LEGO: What it is is original
Way back in 1981, our client LEGO were already making a statement on gender equality. Forty years later, they recreated their iconic ad with a version that allows you to put yourself in the frame. With a massive 73% of parents believing that gender differences are driven more by societal expectations than biology, LEGO are helping to change things for the better.
Hershey’s: Celebrate SHE
Hershey’s ‘chocolate’ bars had a limited edition run of wrappers with ‘SHE’ blocked out in colour. Whilst the video that went alongside this wasn’t ground breaking, the wrappers were a gentle nod to IWD.
Interflora: Empower flower
Flower delivery service Interflora wanted to show how just unbalanced it is at the top through blooms, of course. They sold various bouquets to drive the facts home. For example, one red rose amongst 19 white roses to show how just one in 20 CEOs are women.
Unconscious bias is a big part of the problem. Non-profit Catalyst aims to change that by showing that even a shift in vocabulary can have an impact. Focused on accelerating women into leadership, Catalyst even worked on a plug-in for the app Slack that suggests different adjectives, and encouraged people to tweet pictures of themselves with words that have been used to describe them.
Haagen-Dazs: Women who don’t hold back
The ice cream geniuses at Haagen-Dazs renamed four of their flavours in the UAE to celebrate four remarkable women: Raha Moharrak, the youngest Arab and first Saudi woman to climb Everest and The Seven Summits; Yasmin Yousri, a cancer survivor, style coach and art director; Nayla Al Khaja, the first female film director and producer in the UAE; and Maz Hakim, a radio presenter and entrepreneur.