Months after the launch of P&G’s ‘Like a Girl’ campaign, there is still much discussion about the role gender plays in the marketing and advertising. Gone are the days where using pink and princesses would ensure you brand success. Research published early in 2015, ‘Little Miss Understood’, showed that girls between 8-14 prefer brands that empower and help them. Children are becoming increasingly aware of stereotypes and how they may or may not conform to them. Almost half of the girls polled said they wanted brands that ‘allows me to be myself’ (44%), ‘gives me confidence’ (39%) or ‘asks for my opinion’ (38%).
“Successful brands that engage young women deliver on three things: emotion (make me feel something), reassurance (make me trust you) and authenticity (show me you mean it).”
Belinda Parmar, Lady Geek
P&G’s brand director for Northern Europe, Roisin Donnelly highlighted back in June 2015 that P&G was one of the few companies to have an equal gender split on their executive and non-executive boards. Donnelly reported that:
“Diversity really is a core belief of P&G…I think you get much better results if you have diversity – different genders, different nationalities – because you get different ideas and it’s a much more fun place to work.”
Diversity is lacking in many areas, marketing and advertising included. Gender stereotyping can have far reaching consequences. For example, the lack of women specialising in STEM industries. “While this study shows that computing is twice as popular as home economics, the technology industry still has a ‘dude’ problem,” says Lady Geek’s Parmar. “For every one woman studying computing, there are just over five men.”
What is the answer? Does the marketing industry have a responsibility to try and bring about social change? Does the success of ‘Like A Girl’ prove that going against social so-called-norms is the way to get people talking about your brand?
I would love to hear what your thoughts and experiences in the comments.