Who Run The World? Girls!
By Brett McKenzie on Mar 05, 2020
Nine empowering projects to celebrate International Women's Day
It's International Women's Day this Sunday, where we salute the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women the world over, while also joining in the ongoing call for gender parity. The advertising world has created some amazing projects and campaigns that champion women's causes; more often than not, the driving creative force behind these works have been women themselves.
In celebration of this Sunday, we've dipped into our archives to showcase nine award-winning projects that reflect the spirit of Women's Day, as well as highlight some of the women behind the work.
Nike JDI Dream Crazier
Wieden+Kennedy / Portland + Nike / Beaverton
2019 Film: Television & VOD / Long Form - Single
Female athletes often face a unique struggle; no matter their accomplishments, their very human desires and emotions are perceived by some as "hysterical" "delusional" or "crazy", compared to those of their male counterparts. But in this powerful Nike spot by Wieden+Kennedy Portland, narrated by the legendary Serena Williams, "crazy" becomes a flag to be flown proudly as women excel to new heights on the field, court, pool and beyond.
"Dream Crazier" won Silver and Bronze Pencils at last year's One Show. Emma Barnett served as the spot's art director, while acclaimed director Kim Gehrig drove the vision from behind the camera — more from her further down this list!
Wunderman Phantasia / Lima + Espiritu / Lima + Starcom / Lima + Apoyo Comunicación / Lima
2019 Interactive: Data Visualization / Single
For more than 40 years, Inca Kola — the national soft drink of Peru, if countries can indeed have a national soft drink — has been famous for sponsoring the reading of the time of day on Peruvian radio. For International Women's Day 2018, Wunderman Phantasia transformed this "Inca Kola Time" into "Equality Time", using every single minute of a 24-hour day to showcase a unique statistic related to gender inequality. So at 1:35 in the morning, they noted that only one out of every 35 Peruvian government officials is a woman, while at 8:50 Peruvians learned that only eight out of 50 Peruvian women 15 years of age have access to a high school education. This was a truly unique way to turn a part of everyday life in Peru into a teachable moment, or rather 1440 teachable moments.
"Equality Time" won a Bronze Cube for Data Visualization at the ADC 98th Annual Awards. Among the creatives on the project is Diana Tamayoshi, a young art director with a bright future.
Leo Burnett, Toronto / Toronto + Leo Burnett, Chicago / Chicago + Leo Burnett, London/Holler / London
Procter & Gamble/Always
2015 Cross-Platform: Brand Transformation / Single
"Like a girl" has long served as an insult in the schoolyard and beyond. To run or throw like a girl means to do these activities weakly and ineffectively, and when Leo Burnett Toronto asked young teens to demonstrate what "like a girl" means in this campaign for Always sanitary napkins, the results were sadly predictable. But when they asked the same of prepubescent girls, they interpreted the phrase to men that they try their best, run their fastest and throw their hardest. These insights led to "#LikeAGirl", a viral sensation that shows the world that we can all raise the esteem of young women.
"#LikeAGirl" won one Gold Pencil, three Silver Pencils and one Bronze Pencil at The One Show 2015, a Gold Cube and two Silver Cube at the ADC 94th Annual Awards, and the hearts of millions. The project itself was led by legendary Judy John, now the Global CCO of Edelman.
Droga5 / New York + The Clinton Foundation / New York + Park Pictures / New York
2016 Cross-Platform: Non-Profit - Integrated Branding / Integrated Branding
International Women's Day serves a reminder to not only celebrate the successes in the fight for true equality but also to show how far we as a society still need to go. Droga5 tackled the second half of that thought in a campaign for the Clinton Foundation's "No Ceilings initiative entitled "Not There". Teaming up with several media companies and brands, Droga5 had images of women removed from the posters, screens, billboards, and magazine covers that make up the Manhattan landscape. The message? "We're not there yet," when it comes to closing the gender gap.
THE FUTURE OF FITNESS IS FEMALE
New York-based Danish director Sandra Winther is renowned for a style that works to capture beauty and intensity, She brings both in heaping helpings for "The Future of Fitness Is Female", a film for Adidas x Stella McCartney. This wordless short features five athletes in motion, in a poetic display of power and attitude that's a raw as it is feminine.
"The Future of Fitness is Female" is one of the projects that earned Sandra a highly coveted spot amongst the winners of Young Guns 17 last November..
We Are Unlimited / Chicago + We Are Unlimited/The Marketing Store / Chicago + DDB New York / New York City + DDB Canada / Vancouver
2019 Design: Branding / Brand Installations
To honor the 2018 edition of International Women's Day, fast-food behemoth McDonald's turned its iconic Golden Arches upside down to form a W on its social channels and on a single restaurant — a nice gesture, but seemingly hollow, at least to the twittering masses.
The following year, however, several US and Canadian offices of DDB teamed up to make the flipped arches more meaningful. This time around they transformed 100 women-owned McDonald's franchises while telling a compelling story of workplace inclusion.
"The Flip" was a powerhouse on last year's award show circuit, earning seven Gold Pencils, four Silvers and a Bronze at The One Show 2019, along with a Gold Cube, two Silvers and three Bronzes at the ADC 98th Annual Awards. And much like the transformed McDonald's restaurants, there was an incredible team of women behind this campaign including creatives Caitlin VanderKlok, Georgia Taylor, Emily Walton, Megan VanDagens, Liza Rush, Sarah Dembkowski and Sarah Uchison..
Host / Sydney
2017 Social Media: Social Engagement / Community Building
Gender bias can be found in some of the most surprising and unlikely of places. Sydney-based agency Host stumbled across it in Google's "define" feature, where the definition of certain words came with negative connotations attributed to women — "nagging", "promiscuous", "housework", among many others. Host created a social media movement to bring these cringe-worthy definitions to Google's attention, and in the end, successfully got the company to alter their dictionary.
"#Redefinewomen" earned itself a Gold Pencil for Social Engagement at The One Show 2017, and a lot of praise for the campaign's copywriter Kiah Nicholas.
BRANDI CHASTAIN AND THE BRA
Vivid colors, a sense of weirdness and frequent subversiveness — all are hallmarks of London-based illustrator, animator, and designer Caitlin McCarthy. All of these are on display in "Brandi Chastain and the Bra", an animated short created for Nike to commemorate the 20th anniversary of an iconic moment in sports, when the world champion player ripped off her jersey in celebration, exposing her now-famous sports bra.
"Brandi Chastain and the Bra" helped Caitlin join the Young Guns family of superstar creatives last November.
Viva La Vulva
AMVBBDO / London
2019 Advertising: Branded Content & Entertainment - Online / Long Form
We're closing out this list in epic fashion, with another spot filmed by Australian director Kim Gehrig. Buoyed by the success of the previous year's stigma-bashing, Best of Discipline-winning #BloodNormal, AMVBBDO and Essity came back with "Viva La Vulva" for Libresse/Bodyform. It's a bold and bright anthem to the wonderous and diverse world of vaginas, and it must be seen to be believed.
"Viva La Vulva" won two Gold Pencils, six Silvers, two Bronzes and a Best of Discipline winner at The One Show 2019, and two Silver Cubes and two Bronzes at the ADC 98th Annual Awards.