Today we commemorate International Women’s Day (March 8th) and for an Out-Of-Home marketing company, we’re interested in seeing how this filters through to a brand’s image as it is a key indicator of what consumers value.
It can be challenging to find a hot take on a cause that has been going on for, well, decades.
However, diversity and inclusivity have been a priority on the agendas of many organisations, including the ASA (Advertising Standards Agency).
So how do brands stay committed to closing the gap in disparity when it comes to female representation? And should they? After all, it takes a conscious effort from Senior Marketing Managers and even directors of companies, and redirection of certain resources.
Let’s take a look at this in the stats:
-2022 was the year that saw more women-owned SMEs in the UK for all time
-Women control more than £500bn in consumer spending in the UK, in certain sectors, almost exclusively!
-Women now make up 38.9% of FTSE250 directorships.
Now let’s talk about the representation of women in branding.
You can read this in more detail on our blog from last year, about how women have been represented in the last 70 years or so, but the main takeaway is:
-Move away from women being represented as homemakers and family carers
-Less sexualisation, fewer ads where women are accessories to attract people to a product
-More diverse and powerful: women being represented in more leadership roles
-Targeting younger generations, inspiring young girls to become high achievers
-Representing “realness” in terms of size, body shape, imperfections, and ethnicity: we are letting go of the old ideas of “perfection”.
The truth is, brands can’t afford to not diversify their campaigns, it is no longer about being disruptive, now it’s a case of maintaining a reputation that can affect the bottom line. We’re not just talking about the ASA, but about catering to the consumer demands of a generation that places importance on the values the brands they purchase from, represent above all else.
We leave you with a campaign from 1984, directed by Ridley Scott for Apple, a company always known for being disruptive and innovative. Apple chose a female athlete to launch the Macintosh, at a type where gender stereotypes were a lot more inflexible. Being different works!
Billboard Media would like to wish a Happy International Women’s Day to all the women working to change these stereotypes and thank the allies for making this happen.