Dove and Other Brands – On Women Empowerment Ad Campaigns

It is only February, and people are already pumped due to the back-to-back events in beauty and sports industry.

Miss Universe Organization crowned Iris Mittenaere from France over 85 other candidates in a ceremony held in the Philippines last week . The controversy of last year’s winner announcement thrilled the audience more as Steve Harvey was still the event’s host.

Meanwhile, Super Bowl began to dominate the traditional, and new media over the weekend. This annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL) is an sporting event anticipated  not for the game alone, but also for the performances and commercial.

Events like these reach millions of audience which advertisers strategically take advantage of. Sure enough, brands spent tons of money with ad campaigns as they place creatives ranging from funny to inspirational, typical to unconventional – In fact, some of them are rather controversial including the ones with women empowerment theme.

Here we will break down some ads targeted to all kinds of women –  young and old  – that gained some approving nods and occasional nays.

Self-Esteem and Beauty

Dove: #RealBeauty

In the game of raising confidence and breaking the rigid definition of beauty, Dove has been one of the most consistent players. Dove Philippines launched #RealBeauty Is Universal, a campaign that shows the different types of women’s beauty, raising the question: “Why do we search the universe for only one type of beauty when there is so much more?“.

The ad was (ironically) aired during every gap of  Miss Universe 2017 which was covered by the country’s major broadcasting companies. (We don’t want to raise anything here, but really, Dove? #iseewhatyoudidthere)

This is not the first time Dove made a campaign with the goal of trying to make women embrace their own beauty. Remember the sketch campaign in 2013? It has now over 67 million views on YouTube.

While most of their ads address grown women, they also have an ongoing self-esteem program for teenagers.

Dove has been consistent in releasing simultaneous campaigns, and if brand awareness is the scale, they seem to be winning the game. However, that doesn’t guarantee everyone’s approval of the point they are trying to make.

Here is a parody made by Above Average, an online comedy distributor and multi-channel network, which (as claimed by some) reflects audience view on Dove’s beauty campaigns.

Holden: Let’s Go There

This kind of appeal have been mastered by different brands.

Holden Australia released a series of TVC under their “Let’s Go There Campaign” which has the same testimonial style, and inspirational approach – only it was coming from a professional football player, Moana Hope.

“People should stop looking at someone and going to say how should look. We are not there to be models, we’re out there to be footballers. “

Now, that’s straight forward, not to mention imperative.

Gender Equality 

Priceline Pharmacy

Since we have already talked about a woman in sports, why not step it up a bit by making it plural – women in sports. (grin)

Girls, Girls, Girls – catchy tune, huh? Priceline Pharmacy launched “Were 100% Women” last October, and still up and running across all media types in Australia. As the campaign headline may suggest, the strategy is targeted to women.The brand’s ads was made cheerful by amusing statistics and presentation; but notice that apart from the ad above, everything else is meant to sell you something. It’s still marketing, upfront. The Women in Sports creative is really good, though.

Let’s now proceed to something more recent, more controversial, and probably one of the most expensive – Audi USA’s latest Super Bowl ad.

Audi: Daughter

This ad is aired before the eyes of millions of Super Bowl viewers around the workd, and is now gaining a lot more views on YouTube by the second.

Too much has been said about it that you can just type “Audi Super Bowl 2017 Ad” on your browser, and you’ll see how many discussions have been made. It’s political, it’s gender-based, so what can we really expect?

I guess, this time, the ad’s success could be based on its intention –  thing that only Audi could measure. Nonetheless, it has stirred everyone, including women outside the United States.

To end this category lightly, let’s just watch this Barbie commercial.

Barbie: Imagine The Possibilities


Look Good Feel Better

Other brands try to hide their marketing agenda behind motivational ads that make audience feel good about themselves. That is not the case with Look Good Feel Better (LGFB), a non-profit program which main purpose is to actually help cancer patient learn practical ways to stay confident while undergoing treatment.


There’s still a lot of ad campaigns centered for women, there are more coming.

They are inspirational, and most of us fall for them which makes it hard to separate them from their main purpose – that is to make us consume their products. So as a take away from this short list of women empowerment ads, from a casual consumer standpoint – I would say that we should watch them – see through the creative then try to understand the whole context. Get the message if there’s any, but don’t let the brands impose you into doing or buying something you don’t believe in, and need in the first place. Remember, it’s still business. It means that every penny that these brands spend to reach you should return them in form of profit, and getting your attention is just the first step.



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