Ads that celebrate Women
Updated: Mar 10
Since the past mid-twentieth century, women have either been showcased as sexual objects or as the domesticated housewife but as women’s rights and representation has come a long way, so has the advertising and marketing.
With more representation, marketers cannot ignore the voices of women. With women occupying 53% of the global workforce in marketing and advertising, the quality and messaging for women has consistently improved, and today we are highlighting the best campaigns for women that have put their message across successfully.
Nike has always known to be inspiring, bold and fearless. A brand that advocates actions and overcoming hurdles, Nike has released multiple campaigns that expresses the strong confident women. Not just physically strong but the overall strength of women. Their campaigns hit hard and on the spot that will leave a lasting impression on the audience.
My personal favourite is the Da Da Ding campaign, which was released when I was in high school. With strong lyrics and beats that pump in the confidence, the ad expresses the unrelenting and go-getting voice of women, who do their best to achieve what they set their eyes upon. You can imagine a 15-year-old girl rapping along the song and believing just that.
“And fail is not part of the plan. But if I fall, I'm going to stand again”
A special mention to What Are Girls Made Of? A recital by a young girl that starts with flowers and rings as descriptions of what girls are made of. The poem progresses to state how strength, self-dedication, grace and independence are what girls are made of.
This personal care brand stands for beauty being a source of confidence. Women have been objectified for their beauty and have been reduced to unrealistic beauty and body standards, setting high expectations. This leads to many being insecure in their own skin that might not conform to those standards, while others are annoyed that they are usually judged on the basis of their appearance.
Striving to achieve that unrealistic beauty standards has left women comparing themselves to edited and photoshopped models. Dove with their “You are more beautiful than you think” campaign draws attention to how women are very self critical about their appearance, focusing on their negatives more than their beauty. The experiment shows a woman describing her facial features to a sketch artist. When compared to the description by a stranger, we see the stranger’s description was more accurate. A powerful message that our beauty is what stands out more than the little critical details, with a candidate mentioning that there is a lot of internal work to be done after looking at the sketches.
An honorary mention to Dove’s “My Beauty My Say” video. The ad presents how women in different spaces are judged by their appearance. Their work and potential is then assumed by how they present themselves and how they naturally look. It calls out the emphasis put on the physical appearance and face value of women, more than their calibre and achievements.
The connection of a mother and her child is something that cannot be replicated. It is unique and special. Even with multiple children, Mothers have a unique connection to each of her children, one different from the other. Pandora’s “The Unique Connection” ad portrays the special bond between a child and their mother. Through touch alone, the child knows, even when blindfolded, who their mother is and does not fail to recognise her in a row of different women. The uniqueness of their relationship also shows that each woman and mother are different and special.
Women when ambitious, driven and motivated are labelled as bossy or stubborn. Men who stick to their values and goals and do not deter from their plan are called motivated, determined while women are referred to as stubborn. Ambitious women striving for leadership and are actively vocal are called bossy, not in a nice manner as well. The stereotype of women being the compliant one is an archaic notion which needs to be changed. Lean In’s Ban Bossy video features multiple celebrities that call out to encourage young women and girls to strive for more, aim to change the world and achieve the impossible; they strive to ban bossy.
This one is a new release and to be honest, it was so relatable that I had to add it to this list. One does not find full autonomy of their life while living with their parents and this issue is not something that women alone suffer from but it is something that women face a lot. Families usually decide and control the woman’s autonomy until her marriage; or in urban modern scenarios, when she moves out for work. Also the ‘paraya’ keyword used, implies the concept of ‘paraya dhan’ where the woman is another man’s property and hence must leave her family otherwise she is seen as a burden (by marriage of course ). This archaic concept is still prevalent in India and other Asian countries too.
This ad takes a humorous approach to this concept. The female lead does not know the address of her house and is confused when asked for directions. It is because she has been told several times to do things as per her wish when she lives in her own house, hence the confusion. The ad subtly and humorously explains the history and calls for a change in the mindset and point of view of the people.
Ads and marketing are a huge indicator of how the society functions, giving a brilliant insight on the social, economic and political landscape of a country or an era. At the same time, ads have a huge impact on the population, making people question and express themselves better. You can read more about other campaigns that have done justice to their message and brand. At Unmarketing, we help you create chemistry between your brand and your humans. To learn more, connect with us.