How empowerment through advertising is reshaping the world.
In the past few years, there has been a surge of Empowerment Marketing, marketing used to slice through the old approach of making consumers feel inadequate, or without, in order to get them to buy products. Using this tactic, brands are now squashing stereotypes and leaning on the idea that through advertisements, we can build a better tomorrow.
One of the ways brands are appealing to consumers is through engaging them in aspects that aren’t based on money, materialism, or social caste but are more focused on promoting heroism, activism, and self awareness. By approaching consumers in ways that play on their humanitarianism, brands are selling their product while highlighting real issues. Brands can prove to their target demographic that not only do they have a great product, but as a brand, they care about the issues that affect society and about making the world a happier, more informed place.
With campaigns like Pantene’s #ShineStrong and Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” video, brands expose stereotypes that often negatively affect women young and old.
For example, the #LikeAGirl campaign from Always is a great example of how the phrase “like a girl” can be extremely disempowering because we have been taught that running, fighting, swimming, throwing, chewing, reading, and everything else that we as women do, is not as good as what a man can do. At the end of the video, a young girl says “It doesn’t matter what they say. Yes, I kick like a girl and I swim like a girl and I walk like a girl and I wake up in the morning like a girl - because I am a girl. And that is not something I should be ashamed of.” The negative connotation of “like a girl” is something that these young girls know nothing about, but learn throughout their childhood and associate as doing something inadequately. Always is proving that calling attention to this phrase and owning it as a girl should be empowering.
Another amazing brand that works to combat the “like a girl” saying is GoldieBox This brand is working on shattering stereotypes of little girls by setting out to inspire the next generation of female engineers. The company creates construction toys for girls that are built from a female perspective. In the commercial below, they show a group of girls who build an elaborate Rube Goldberg machine that turns off an over-the-top girl commercial on their television set.
By shedding a spotlight on some of the double standards and stereotypes that women encounter on a daily basis, these brands are bringing awareness that not only works to put all humans on an even playing field, but it also sells products! Many of these campaigns have gone viral. There’s not a day that goes by where I’m on Facebook and I don’t see one of these commercials or, more recently, Kacy Catanzaro who just became the first woman to successfully complete the final course of the American Ninja Warrior competition.
It’s instances like these that remind of me an old Gatorade commercial where Mia Hamm and Michael Jordan duke it out over basketball, soccer, fencing, and other sports, showing that not one sex is better than the other just because we are divided into men and women.
I can only hope that more companies in the future try out the Empowerment Marketing technique. When we work together, we can evoke compassion, gain knowledge, shatter stereotypes, and change the world.
The most courageous
act is to think for
yourself. Aloud. - Coco Chanel