P&G hits out at ‘stereotypical’ emojis in new #LikeAGirl push
P&G has unveiled the next iteration of its #LikeAGirl campaign, blasting emojis for being “stereotypical” and “limiting”, and encouraging girls to share the type of female emojis they would like to see.
The new global video is part of the ongoing Always #LikeAGirl mission to tackle the drop in confidence girls experience at puberty and will be promoted across the brand’s social channels.
According to the brand, emojis are hugely popular among teenage girls but it is raising questions over whether “female” emojis including princesses, women getting their nails done or dancing in bunny ears truly represent all the things that girls do.
A survey by Always revealed that nearly half of girls (48%) feel that female emojis are stereotypical, while more than two thirds (70%) would like to see female emojis portrayed more progressively, including professional female emoji options.
“We know that girls, especially during puberty, try to fit in and are therefore easily influenced by society. In fact, we found that 60% of girls even felt that society limits them, by projecting what they should or should not do, or be. The girls in emojis only wear pink, are princesses or dancing bunnies, do their nails and their hair and that’s about it. No other activities, no sports, no jobs – the realisation is shocking,” says Michele Baeten, associate brand director and Always #LikeAGirl leader at P&G.
‘”Of course, societal limitations are broader than just emojis, but when we realised that stereotypical, limiting messages are hiding in places as innocent as emojis, it motivated us to demand change.”
As part of the campaign, Always wants girls to share what type of girl emojis they would like to see to show they are “Unstoppable #LikeAGirl”.
The next evolution
The video is the next evolution of the brand’s #LikeAGirl campaign that launched in June 2014, which P&G deemed “hugely successful”.
Roisin Donnelly, Always brand director at Northern Europe at P&G, told Marketing Week: We have already seen an important impact of the #LikAaGirl campaign since its launch 2 years ago. The first #LikeAGirl social experiment video from Always has been viewed more than 90 million times around the world and counting. The Always #LikeAGirl campaign has also inspired a movement and has started to change public perception.”
According to figures supplied by the company, before the Like A Girl campaign ad aired only 19% of US girls aged between 16-to-24 had a positive association with the phrase “like a girl”.
After watching the #LikeAGirl video, however, 76% said that they no longer view “like a girl” as an insult, and 8 out of 10 women (81%) said the video can change the way people think of the stereotypes surrounding women’s physical abilities.
The research, compiled with a sample size of 1,300 American females aged 16-to-49 years old and 500 American males aged 16-to-49, also claims that two-out-of-three men that have watched the ad no longer associate negativity with the phrase.
After the launch of the initial campaign the company also partnered with TED and encouraged fans to create their own content by rolling out the second phase of its Always ‘Like A Girl’ campaign. Moreover, P&G has since been named the most effective global advertiser.
The rising popularity of emojis
Brands are increasingly using emojis in their marketing. Last year, Adrian Cockle, digital innovation manager at WWF described emojis as the “first truly global language”. He said their symbolic nature means they have universal appeal, diminishing some of the normal challenges associated with marketing on an international scale.
The charity launched its #EndangeredEmoji Twitter activity in May after discovering that 17 characters in the catalogue of emojis represent animals at risk of extinction.
People were encouraged to take part by retweeting an image of all 17 animals and then for every subsequent time they use one of the endangered characters they pledge to donate €0.10. At the end of the month they receive a summary of their usage with a link to the charity where they can donate the suggested amount, another sum, or nothing at all if they choose.
In September Coca-Cola became the first brand to get its own emoji as part of a partnership with Twitter, which allowed the brand to use the emoji in marketing campaigns globally.