As we near the end of Women’s History Month, brands are still showing up for women in empowering ways. We’ve reported on Libresse’s audacious challenge to bring attention to women’s pain and how brands are redefining the representation of women in media. Today, we examine how one company is going beyond the call for more diversity of women in mainstream marketing, to “infiltrating” the advertising industry from the inside.
Dove is honoring the Women’s History Month theme of #ChooseToChallenge by launching its newest campaign, “It’s On Us” in South Africa. As an extension of its 2019 Project #ShowUs, the Unilever brand teamed up with diverse women and non-binary models in the region to “shatter beauty stereotypes.” What’s unique about the effort is that Dove will then pay the appearance fees for other businesses that choose to use one of these models in their own marketing. Sophie van Ettinger, Global Vice President at Dove, explains that “By giving brands and companies the tools to show a more diverse representation of beauty, we are helping to change the way women are represented.” To date, Magnum, Krispy Kreme, Cif and Nedbank have taken advantage of this offer to show women how they “really are.”
The example today shows how a brand can use its Purpose to push itself and others to make advancements in equity, and ultimately create broader, more impactful change. Our own research echoes the need for more work like this, with a mandate from 75 percent of consumers stating that a company’s marketing and advertising should be more reflective of the diverse and inclusive business they aspire to be. As companies continue their own JEDI journeys, they must lean into their Purpose to continue to create systemic changes for women around the world beyond the month of March.