Being a woman ain’t easy. This long-established fact has been highly reflected in media’s portrayal of women since time immemorial. Brands, in particular, would often leverage on the relevance of these types of conversations in order to draw themselves attention.
Certainly, there’s been a huge change in the way advertising has recently portrayed women’s experiences. The dominant idea today, heavily banks on confronting unrealistic beauty standards, microaggressions, sexual harassment, and many other issues that women’s rights movements like #MeToo and #WeSeeEqual are shedding light on.
We’ve seen it in how Dove mounted their ‘real women’ campaign that shed light on various shapes, sizes, and colors of women. It’s in society’s double standards as exposed by Pantene’s #WhipIt campaign which tells us not to let the labels hold us back. Even local brand Ariel launched its #JuanWash campaign to show that chores should be done by both men and women.
This trend in woman empowerment and gender equality is aptly called ‘Femvertising’. As marketers call it, it refers to how advertising makes use of female narratives to engage female consumers and get them to buy their product.
But whether these portrayals are made for good reason or simply just to join the bandwagon, it is interesting to look at how they also reflect how gender conversions evolved throughout the years.
We Can Do It!
BIC South Africa
Nike’s HyperCourt For Her
Gone are the days when going hardsell was the sure way to go. Now, brands have found glory in leveraging on what may be considered as ‘non-traditional’ in contrast to the ‘perfect ideals’ advertising was so used to selling.
The advertisements shown above not only encourage or discourage us to buy their products but also to take action against unjust societal norms that especially subordinate women. No matter how problematic or groundbreaking they may be, let these ads serve as reminder of how far we’ve come and how far we’ve yet to go in the fight for gender equality.