Looking for a Brand New You?


Posted on: Monday, March 6, 2017 Category: Blog (58)
Uncategorized (59)
2 min read


“Advertising that employs pro-female talent, messages and imagery to empower women and girls.”

Searching for a “feminist book” in the past , and you’d likely be directed to Germaine Greer’s 1970 tome, The Female Eunuch. Today, thousands of titles, blogs, and podcasts are available. Feminism is more popular now than ever before. We are amidst the next phase of evolution.

Marketers have continued to drive female empowerment over the past decade. Dove’s 2005 ‘Real Beauty’ campaign is regarded as the pioneer of ‘femvertising’. Celebrities were quick to endorse the campaign and sales increased.   While there were many that questioned whether Unilever could actually push this – given that they also owned Slimfast – the campaign was seminal in that it started to  pave the way for a discussion of what beauty is.  Sadly – it left us just there – only discussing beauty, but it was a good start.

Today, Feminism is an exuberance of strength of character; notable women in society now speak against human rights violations on more public stages, more often; millions march in protest in the light of a misogynistic election. As more and more names attach themselves to the word of feminism, we have to ask – do they understand its meaning?

Roxane Gay wrote for the Guardian that “too many people are willfully ignorant about what the word means and what the movement aims to achieve. But when a pretty young woman has something to say about feminism…that broad ignorance disappears…because, at last, we have a more tolerable voice proclaiming the very messages feminism has been trying to impart…”. Gay argues that, while there is no problem with celebrities or men claiming feminism and talking about it, we run into trouble when we celebrate celebrity feminism while avoiding the actual work of feminism.

Andi Zeisler of Bitch Media also argues these sentiments and has coined the word ’empowertising’ to describe the how celebrities like Beyonce have hijacked the cause. Feminism is becoming more about celebrities and products, and less about beliefs and identity.

Feminism is fantastic, anything that supports, broadens, and engages people into becoming part of the battle for gender and human equality is fantastic. But in order to maintain its impact, using or endorsing feminism as part of your brand cannot remain shallow at its roots – it is after all, a movement. Be like Dove. If you are pushing a message and not just its connotation.  If becoming part of the feminism movement is part of your brand – then you are part of la revolución.  Otherwise, you are just another person on a bandwagon.  And please get off.


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