October 31, 2013
I have been a huge Beyoncé fan since the days of hideous Destiny Child outfits. So what reminded me of the importance of marketing and women was when I was discussing (OK, hard core jamming and raving about) the new Beyoncé album.
Let’s just say a majority of my girlfriends were not impressed. In fact, I got the critiques “inappropriate and over-sexualized.” Give me a moment while I pick my jaw up off the floor. I never heard any of them express similar thoughts about “Blurred Lines,” Justin Timberlake’s multiple 20/20 Experiences, or dare I say Justin Bieber. As a women and a Beyoncé fan, I want to clear the air and give some marketing perspective.
It is disappointing, but hard to blame them for having these pre-conceived notions of what it means for women to be over–sexualized in the media versus sending an empowering message. Men have never gotten the same critiques as women, and the ads us ladies are subjected to and have been since we were little girls are far from empowering. Try being a girl into sports. It’s hours of TV commercial fun, and friendly jabs that I should be the one serving the beer.
Brands are just hurting themselves by not doing a better job at marketing towards women. Noted on a recent Nielsen release, “Fleishman-Hillard Inc. estimates that women will control two-thirds of the consumer wealth in the U.S. over the next decade.” Don’t forget, we’re buying the beer, too!
That being said, 2013 was a great year for women-empowering ads with brands tackling everything from gender stereotypes to un-photo shopped confidence. I know the “Best-Of 2013” lists were so 3 weeks ago, but here are just a few of my favorites daring to change the status-quo from 2013:
Last summer, Chevy debuted a not-so-typical truck ad, with a message that is relatable across audiences. Especially to all my girls who love their trucks:
No list of female empowering ads would be complete without Dove. They have been a brand at the forefront of changing how women perceive themselves, and have centered their marketing campaigns on it for years. 2013 was no different:
Perhaps taking note from Dove, Pantene Philippines closed out 2013 with an ad focused on how women are labeled in the workplace:
Taking my personal top-spot is Bing. Microsoft celebrated the countless heroic women of 2013 for the search engine’s year-end round up:
Let’s see if this year marketers go beyond empowering women, and truly start to appreciate our purchasing power.