International Women’s Day is upon brands and us all over the globe; for this reason, we decided to dip into history and showcase how women have been portrayed in the advertising industry and how recent changes are affecting consumer brand perception.
How have women been portrayed in advertising and media over the last decades?
If you look at the media and advertising of the social norms of our society of the 50s and 60s, you would usually find women predominantly caring for their families, husband and the home. However, from the 70s and 80s, when the female role in society became more diverse, they often started to be portrayed as sex symbols by demonstrating unrealistic notions of perfection.
This trend continued up until the late 90s and 00s.
Nowadays, however, as the number of women leaders in government, politics, sports, and corporates has increased, there has been a change in our social norms. Yet, despite this, many believe that advertising still keeps men and women in their exclusive gender roles.
Thus, to move away from the stereotypical portrayal of women, now, brands are responsibly and accurately researching the interests of women to portray them in their advertising accurately.
How the portrayal of women in ads affects brand perception
But beyond ethics, can brands benefit from changing how they portray women in terms of brand perception? According to a recent report conducted by Ipsos, THEY CAN!
Ipsos’ findings revealed that ads that portray women positively are more likely to influence long-term brand relationships and short-term behaviour change positively.
It also found that the way women’s roles in society and their image are portrayed in advertising can significantly influence the brand’s reputation.
In fact, women control more than £501.7 billion of consumer spending in UK and more than £23,8 trillion of global spending.
For this reason, brands must ensure that ads speak to and represent women positively and respectfully and focus on developing long-term brand relationships.
A positive portrayal of women can help make it happen!
Let’s look at some of the examples:
Women’s Aid, “Look at Me” – 2015
The Women’s Aid’s multi-award-winning marketing campaign reaching 326.9 million people worldwide has cleverly integrated facial recognition to drive the campaign’s success.
The project was launched as an interactive billboard advertising campaign and has been placed in crowded public places across the UK, such as Canary Wharf and Birmingham Bullring.
What made the campaign so unique was its interactiveness. When people walked past a billboard and did not pay attention, the billboard stayed in a static mode. However, if people stopped and looked at the billboard, the bruises on the woman’s face would begin to fade and eventually heal completely.
The message of the campaign was simple and excellently delivered. The campaign’s message was apparent and straightforward: “do not turn a blind eye to domestic violence. If you see this, you can make a difference.”
Women’s Aid successfully propelled the campaign to viral levels with experimental and innovative advertising techniques. Videos of the campaign have been widely circulated on the Internet and its success can be seen in how many people it has reached.
By achieving this outreach, Women’s Aid has really helped raise awareness of the seriousness and importance of supporting women affected by domestic violence.
The United Nations, “Impossible to Ignore” – 2019
In 2019, the United Nations launched an international campaign #SheInnovates on International Women’s Day to honour the outstanding women and girls who utilise innovation to solve global issues.
The campaign aimed to support women in innovation by providing access to development tools, programmes, and resources and connecting women innovators worldwide.
UN Women has placed their billboards in some of the most high-traffic locations worldwide, including New York City’s Times Square and JFK International Airport, and Westfield London to mark International Women’s Day and its theme “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for change”, ‘Impossible to Ignore’.
With the multitude of ways that we see brands engaging in International Women’s Day advertising, we would be delighted to develop something just as empowering and impactful campaign.
Billboard Media would like to wish all the amazing women in our company and worldwide a Happy International Women’s Day.
We hope to deliver more of these amazingly impactful campaigns in the future!
Questions about billboards?
Interested in advertising in your local area or further? Get in touch for advice on the best locations and strategies for using billboards.
For more information on prime outdoor advertising billboards, contact us on 0207 112 8624 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.