International Women’s Day: 6 of the best campaigns empowering women

We round-up all the brand activity around International Women’s Day that looks to inspire, celebrate or support women and girls.

P&G launches corporate #WeSeeEqual campaign to fight gender bias

In honour of International Women’s Day, Procter & Gamble (P&G) has launched a new corporate #WeSeeEqual campaign aimed at uncovering gender bias.

The campaign is running on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram and features a video showing men, women, boys and girls defying gender stereotypes, using clips from a number of its brands including Always and Secret. P&G brands including Pantene, Ariel and Fairy have all done ads on gender equality themes in recent years, but this is the first time it has brought them together under the corporate umbrella.

Speaking to Marketing Week, P&G marketing director for Northern Europe Stefan Feitoza says the FMCG giant is keen to “create new expectations for people to live up to”.

“We are leveraging our insights to uncover gender bias and taking actions to spark conversations that motivate change. We believe it is our responsibility to be a good corporate citizen,” he says.

United Colors of Benetton promotes gender equality in India

Benetton has more than 50 years of experience when it comes to campaigning on social issues. Most recently, it looked to improve the lives of women under its Women Empowerment Programme. The fashion retailer is now looking to directly challenge social behaviours for the first time in one of its biggest global markets – India.

The new #UnitedByHalf campaign looks to challenge social stereotypes in India around the role of women, and calls for equal pay. While it was launched in India back in February, the fashion brand is now rolling it out globally on International Women’s Day in a bid to mobilise people to “think, talk and act in ways that support the empowerment of women”. It is also working with partners across the region to support its female factory workers.

UBS looks to ‘drive change through diversity’

In January 2017, UBS revealed a five-year plan to make it a business priority to scale up its expertise to better serve female clients. It believes women could add $12tn (£9.9tn) to the global economy in the next decade and that they are under-served by the financial services industry.

As a result, it has launched a new, international wave of its brand campaign focusing on women for International Women’s Day. It follows on from the UBS brand campaign launched in 2015, with a film featuring a series of questions asked in the voice of clients.

In the process of making the film, developed by Publicis, UBS surveyed hundreds of professional women about the personal, business and financial questions they had on their minds. A number of questions repeatedly came up, including: ‘Will my daughters have it easier?’, ‘Will I always be the only woman at the table?’, ‘Have I been a good role model’ and ‘Will the investors take me seriously?’.

“We chose to focus the campaign on women because it is important for us to communicate directly to our female clients, and marketing is one way of doing so. UBS is committed to further increase diversity – not only because it is the right thing to do, but also because it is key to achieving our goals,” says Johan Jervøe, UBS’s chief marketing officer.

ONE looks to create ‘longest ever film’ to prove poverty is sexist

ONE is launching #GirlsCount, a digital campaign demanding education for all girls. Figures from the charity show that 130 million girls are not in school. And because poverty is sexist, girls in the poorest countries are less likely to receive an education than boys. This means a generation of girls is being denied the education they need to get a job, broaden their opportunities and break the cycle of poverty.

#GirlsCount features people across the world joining forces by filming themselves counting a number between one and 130 million out loud. People who want help change the lives of millions of girls around the world can join the campaign by counting a number and posting the video or picture online.

The charity plans to combine the videos into the world’s longest ever film to urge world leaders to take the action needed to ensure every girl receives a quality education.

“It’s easy for huge statistics like 130 million girls out of school to wash over people. So we want to break this number down and give it the humanity it deserves – each and every number between one and 130 million is a girl somewhere in the world who wants an education. We also want to move away from the usual celebrity PSA and create a movement owned by all of the people who care about this crisis,” ONE Campaign’s chief marketing officer Roxane Philson tells Marketing Week.

Western Union pushes gender equality by focusing on education

Another brand honing in on education is Western Union. Its global campaign, created by mcgarrybowen, celebrates the power of education in helping girls reach their goals. The ad also mentions its Chain of Betters initiative, which encourages people to enter an idea for a “selfless good deed” and get the chance to turn the idea into a reality.

In parallel, the Western Union Foundation is on track to help train 50,000 women and youth across the Americas, Europe Union, Africa and Asia by 2020. This week it is launching a global scholarship programme focused on supporting students around the world to pursue a post-secondary education in the areas of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, as well as business and entrepreneurship.

Getty Images looks to promote diversity with sport photography internship

Getty Images is teaming up with Canon and the Women’s Sport Trust to launch sports photography internship for women.

The 12-month internship aims to give emerging female talent the skills to start a career in the sports imagery industry, support diversity in the sports industry and contribute to a more positive and varied portrayal in the media of inspirational sportswomen.

It will be a paid position in Getty Images’ London office and will run for one year from July 2017. During this time the photographer will learn all aspects of the sports photography business by shadowing the picture desk, assignments team and field editors as well as honing her photography skills at live, high-profile sporting events, while also learning about all aspects of business operations required to succeed within the sport-photography industry.

Ken Mainardis, vice president global sports and entertainment at Getty Images explains: “We believe imagery has the power to move people and spur change and we are a passionate advocate for the realistic representation of all through imagery.

“It is our hope that by actively supporting emerging female talent in the sports photography business we will contribute to a richer and more diverse representation of sports in general, which includes the more realistic representation of sporting women and female-led sports in imagery.”

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  • Madison Redtfeldt 16 Mar 2017 at 10:44 pm

    Benetton, an international clothing company is standing behind a global position of change and it is paying off. The brand has been involved in many social movements, but it has recently launched one about women’s equality on a global scale. The brands viral movement has received immense amounts of traffic. The video has already been viewed over 7.7 million times, and other social media interactions account for another 12 million mentions. Not only does equality for women show the brand is progressive, but its gaining them customers. Other brands should pay careful attention to how the viral video was constructed and how the brand is doing something to inspire and produce change. Aside from their advertising they are pledging to help employ, empower, train and integrate women into the workforce. These efforts will first be made in both Asia and the Middle east, but their message is to be globally understood. The positive feedback they have received illustrates the consumer support for a brand which show compassion and humanitarian efforts. The take away from this display of social change is that brands can reposition themselves in the global marketplace through supporting a cause that is worthy. Since the release of their advertisement, Benetton has received a substantial amount of positive publicity. Brands standing behind change, and making efforts to see those changes occur will most likely be more successful in the marketplace. This is due to the required social responsibility consumers are now pressuring their favorite brands to demonstrate. Brands which possess these characteristics will go far in the future and create loyal customers, far more than their competitors. The manner in which these social messages are presented is also the key to their success. Viral releases of videos and social media campaigns seem to be the most efficient and effective way. These platforms enable brands to reach a broader audience in a cost-effective manner.

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