Feminism and "Girl Power" in Advertising
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Feminism and "Girl Power" in Advertising



hello my dudes welcome back to you Internet analysis my name is Tiffany and today I just wanted to analyze some feminists ads you know we're all about girl power with the rise of feminism we have definitely seen a huge increase in marketing campaigns targeted toward empowering women inspiring women so we're gonna take a look at some of those and see if they're really feminist or if they're just trying to sell products girls can't rock girls can't be strong girls can't check is phonology up there or she can't fight you're gonna mess up that beautiful face they said I was too fat only skinny girls Kendra's well legality Tookie I come up with a leg cover cap so a lot of these campaigns seem to be about what girls apparently can or can't do or shouldn't do according to their own or societal expectations and these ads are about defying those expectations and proving that girls can do anything they want and the thing is I like these ads if I weren't trying to look at them with an analytic eye they tug at the heartstrings a little bit but to me especially when watching all of them in a row they just seem so formulaic and predictable Peetha he said you should I said knowing you aren't me I'm me am I gonna be defined by anyone's expectations yeah girls can um one question why are we still calling grown women girls these ads are all made of women they're directed toward adults women consumers why are we calling them girls I'm a 23 year old woman thank you seriously though there is a lot to be said about the concept of still referring to grown women as girls and that could be an entirely other video but it's just like dude okay if we're gonna be talking about female empowerment let's call these women women why use girls is it because short word do trick and it's not just in ads it's in everything you know who runs the world girls but I digress that's not the main point here before we continue I just want to give a quick shout-out to today's sponsor clue clue is a free period tracker app which i think is necessary for anyone who has a period you can not only track your actual period but also any symptoms that come along throughout the month for me that's super important because when I travel I really like to look ahead and be able to kind of know what to expect in terms of how I'm feeling but remember clue is not itself a contraceptive so make sure you guys still use a form of birth control if you're trying to avoid pregnancy but the reason I chose clue to sponsor this specific video is because they are actually walking the walk in terms of empowering women so a big part of their mission is to research and raise awareness of women's health because somehow a lot of the world hasn't put enough funding and time into something that happens to half of the population they also have a wealth of information available on their website and their app which is basically like WebMD but for anything menstrual related you guys should definitely download clue you can click the link in the description or you can search for period tracker in the App Store so anyway these ads are clearly made to inspire women their whole message is about lifting women up making them feel more confident or to motivate them make them feel strong it's just as easy as believing in yourself right hey girls have you ever tried being confident hey girls have you ever tried smiling but really the thing that makes these ad campaigns so successful is that they are emotional they make the viewer especially if you're a woman and you can relate to these things it connects with us because a lot of us have had similar kind of experiences or kind of self-defeating thoughts but most importantly for these companies these are shareable and we have seen so many of these campaigns go viral on social media which is pretty rare because like how often do you watch an ad a literal commercial and go wow I'm gonna share that with all my Facebook friends but these companies are clever in their marketing in that the majority of their campaign the short film kind of piece isn't about their product but at the end of the day that is still what they're selling so they're getting a lot of free promotion when people share it and share it and share it it gets viewed by more people it gets shared again win-win so other than those girls can type of ads there are also ads that generally aim to empower women but my question is always what do you mean by empower because a lot of these ads are from makeup or beauty or fashion brands therefore you're supposed to feel empowered through making yourself look better making yourself look more presentable in terms of what is accepted in society conforming to society's beauty expectations but this is where it gets tricky because it's easy for me to be overly critical and go oh you think that girls can only be powerful if they're beautiful and I'm sure that's not exactly what the ads are saying but they're kind of saying that there's nothing wrong with wanting to look good but basically these ads kind of boil down to look good feel good and now you're a badass woman there's the Pantene sorry not sorry campaign sorry-sorry which boils down to okay women should stop apologizing and again I like the narrative but then at the end it's still about selling hair products their hashtag is literally shine strong which is kind of clever because it's like shine in your personality and be strong but also your hair is shiny and strong it's clever but it's a marketing campaign it's empty basically my biggest problem with this is when a company wants to use feminism or female empowerment for the sake of an ad but for nothing else nothing of substance because that is essentially dumbing feminism as a movement down to just hashtags then there's Dove who's kind of notorious or famous depending on how you look at it for their body positive ads or their female empowerment through Beauty kind of ads so there's this ad that is you're more beautiful than you think in which people describe themselves and a sketch artist draws them and then other people describe them and other people describe them as more beautiful than they describe themselves therefore Dove you're more beautiful than you think this is the sketch that you helped me create and that's a sketch that somebody described a unit that's my problem with this ad is that it's still focused on physical beauty it's still focused on your appearance of course it has the element of perception and how obviously a lot of us get into this headspace where we think worse of ourselves she looks closed off and fatter sadder too the second one looks more open friendly and happy so it's like kind of a nice reminder like oh other people might find you more conventionally attractive than you've consider yourself to be but it's still like it's still about your appearance then there is the imagine the possibilities Barbie commercial what happens when girls are free to imagine they can be anything hello my name is granted and it will be you professor today I'm dr. Brooke let's see okay and overall I actually really like this like short film ad because you know it's cute to see them take these roles and act like they're grown-ups I'm your new coach my name is Maddie nice to meet you but also when you're looking at the actual connection between the product and what the ad is about I like that the ad actually includes the product because again a lot of these campaigns don't even really touch on their product until the very end they slide it in there but this one is about young girls or kids who are interested in playing with Barbies being able to play and imagine either themselves or versions of women or whoever being any type of profession so I feel like that actually is a pretty empowering message especially for kids because kids learn so much through Play and it's really important for kids to be able to kind of test out those things even through Barbies so if that's a good example of an ad using a kind of a bit of a social issue it's not inherently like a feminist ad but so many of these things if we're talking about empowering women to me that means feminism if we're talking about gender equality that means feminism comparing that let's bring in one of the worst ads of all time the petsy kendall Jenner ad [Applause] we all know this ad was an absolute train wreck and it got dragged by everyone because Pepsi tried to take these social movements that have been inspiring people to be activists and to go out on the streets and March for rights Pepsi took those big powerful meaningful movements and reduced it to Kendall Jenner gets inspired to join in the fight and tries to solve the police brutality problem with a Pepsi or imply that just Pepsi could bring everyone together I mean it is so like tone-deaf and I get that it's an ad they have to bring Pepsi into it but it was just like just not done right and that one just makes me laugh and most recently and not directly related to feminism but in terms of talking about gender equality gender roles Gillette's ad which tackled toxic masculinity we believe in the best in men men need to hold other men accountable because the boys watching today we'll be the men of tomorrow this ad was super super successful and very powerful I saw tons of people that I know sharing it on Facebook Twitter and I think the message is good it is nice to see a men's brands come out and actually make a bold stand against toxic masculinity and behaviors that need to be challenged but as always my question is for it not just that ad but all of these ads is their substance and action behind the slick nicely produced film because at the end of the day any company no matter how great or terrible they are on the inside can make a nice flowery inspiring heartwarming ad about feminism or little boys being whoever they want or whatever but it's like does it mean anything you have to look behind that and to me you have to look into the corporate structure you have to see what those brands and companies actually do if anything to benefit the people that they're pretending or implying that they care about so I did a little bit of research and Procter & Gamble is the owner of Gillette always and Pantene's I'm sure there are separate marketing teams behind each of the brands but clearly as a parent company P&G loves making these kind of shareable ads so P&G as the parent company has sixty six billion dollars in annual sales Gillette has an estimated annual revenue of six point five billion dollars and by the way I looked into Gillette to see what their whole message was behind this ad and they said that they were gonna pledge like a million dollars a year for the next three years towards organizations that benefit boys which was super vague but also I was like okay three million dollars total over the course of these three years is that a lot from a company I mean it's a nice gesture oh we're gonna throw money to help the boys but exactly how no specifics but then you're like oh the company's worth six and a half billion dollars a million dollars a year isn't anything so then I looked at deeper into PNG PNG has a male CEO which is relevant because I think that when you're looking at corporate structure of these companies I think it's important to see do they have a male or female CEO who is on their board on PNG they have four women and seven men which isn't great it's not 5050 so it's not technically equal but honestly that is actually better than a lot of other brands which is sad because some brands literally have zero women on their boards or in any executive roles but still I don't want to give them too much credit for like peanuts so to speak PNG though was rated 22 on a list of best employers for diversity in 2019 so I think I will give them the benefit of some doubt and say that they seem to be doing okay or at least good compared to current standards by the way my heater is starting to hiss right now as soon as I sat down to film this video it started hissing and I literally was sitting here yelling at it trying to get it to stop because my building has automatic heaters and they just turn on pretty much when I need to film so if it gets loud I apologize I'm trying to finish this video anyway my final point is just okay these ads all these ads whether they're about female empowerment or gender equality or whatever social movements I want to see if those companies walk the walk okay as I said anybody can talk the talk anybody can make a nice cute touching ad but I'm not going to share your ad I'm not gonna give you a free promotion and hail you as a savior just because you made a good ad because that ad is benefiting you it is marketing if companies are going to claim to be Pro women or inclusive I want to see it you know how you do that you empower women or you empower people of color you empower everyone you promote gender equality by hiring more women hire more people of color guarantee that there is no gender pay gap or any pay gap just equal pay for equal work what a concept anyway I hope you guys enjoyed this video I just thought it would be nice to to look at some ads because we consume a lot of ads these days not just you know sponsored thing but by the way shout out to clue I get it you know it's the way that it works companies need to advertise creators like me need to make some coin so I'm not against ads in general but I think it's important to be critical of them next up I'm gonna keep talking about these types of things I think I'm gonna look into more of these like girlboss kind of concepts and see if there's any depth to them at all but if you enjoyed this video please subscribe for more Internet analysis videos analysis god I can't talk anymore this heater is like melting my brain good excuse it's just me if you guys would like to follow me on instagram for more mediocre pictures feel free to do so once again a big shout out to today's sponsor clue you guys can click the link in the description to download it it's free and that is all okay thanks bye

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20 thoughts on “Feminism and "Girl Power" in Advertising

  1. What they could've done for that Pepsi commercial was have tired protesters marching in the summer or something and cool people arrive and pass out Pepsi to them to refresh them. A girl pulls out her megaphone, Pepsi in the other hand, and rallies everyone up again. They all start drinking their Pepsi and jump back into the fray. Boom. There you go. Not nearly as problematic and no Kendall Jenner needed.

  2. I thought it was interesting you thought the gillette commercial was "super successful" because you thought it was powerful and you saw tens of people you knew sharing it.
    The ad has 30 million views with about a 60% disapproval rating on youtube. About one week after the ads release gillettes YouGov BrandIndex score dropped from seventh place among 45 health and beauty brands to a bottom position. In my own internet bubble it was probably one of the worst received commercials in a long time.

  3. Standing by Jordan Peterson's perspective on the wage gap or the pay gap issue, I can't agree with how the feminists think "being equal in everything is what's fair."
    There's so many things to look at to see why the pay gap exists between men and women.
    Companies pursues profits, not just throw away competent people so that they can hire 5/5 ratio men and women. If there's more men than women in a company and that makes it more profitable, so be it. Vice versa.
    And the biggest problem of feminism is that they don't realize men and women are biologically different. Each sex has different benefits that result in being good at different things.
    If you feminists are so thristy on equality, why don't you give some jobs to men or demand companies that are female-dominant to hire more men? Like nurses, makeup and fashion sales, flight attendant, list go on.
    And do you feminists really think being 5 men and 5 women in everything will bring you the happiness of the dream life that you desire?
    No. Feminine traits have been working in favor of women over centuries now. And that's why there are so many jobs that hire more women than men. Because the feminine traits work better than the masculine traits in those service industries.
    Feminists completely ignore the fact that they have so many jobs that are primarily for women and only focus on getting more seats on the board. You sound nothing more than just a whiny baby when you do that. World is round and colorful. It's not black and white and everything don't need to be 50/50 for God's sakes. Wake up.
    (+ I sometimes find feminists sound communism because they think by giving everyone same this, same that will solve everything.)

  4. this sort of ties into other videos youve already made but im so worried about how girls (due to social media mostly) are sexualised from such a young age.

  5. It's like clothing brands being racially inclusive in their adverts for marketing purposes, yes it is a marketing strategy and their motivation is to make money, but does that make it inherently negative? Would you rather it wasn't that way because they don't really care about equality? A company is a company, and i think these adverts etc. are sort of an indicator of where society is going or where they perceive we want to go, which I'm not mad at

  6. Of course it's about selling products, they are businesses and these are adverts, they advertise products haha! But they could still choose to go about it in a different way, even if it's purely for marketing and nothing else, i think it is positive that they feel that going for a "feminist" message is going to be successful for them, means that something is changing! If it spreads the message to some extent, I'm not complaining!

  7. I have another bone to pick, none of these companies’s alleged feminism is intersectional, what’s with that?

  8. Tiffany asks, "Why are we calling them "girls", these are grown women". For the same reason Tiffany herself calls everyone, including girls and women, "GUYS" at the beginning of her video's. "Hey guys". Guess what, girls and women aren't "guys". The hypocrisy of these people is fantastic. If you're going to judge other people with such detail, you should probably make sure that you're perfect yourself.

  9. Don't even get me started on the hunbots… "wHo wANtS tO jOin mY amAAAaAzInG tEam oF #bOssBAbes? ❤️❤️❤️💞❤️💞❤️💞❤️❤️💞❤️💐🎉🎊🎉 DrOp an eMoji dOwn iN tHe cOmmEntS!! 1!1!1!💥💥💥😎😎😍😍😘😘😘" when they actually just care about ruining their employees regardless of their gender.

  10. The commercial you used "girls" is because the women are quoting things people told them as CHILDREN that they grew to fight against .

  11. 10:11 That ad got alot of backlash!!! People boycotted them after it.
    12:59 why does it matter what gender they are?

  12. I think barbie has some of the best feminist ads. their YouTube channel has some pretty insightful videos about feminism.

  13. What you usually see in these ads are female boxers or athletes and I'm like I don't wanna do boxing I wanna shake my ass on the dancefloor Dove where is my empowerment lol

  14. Really insightful commentary, and I was happy to see that you included toxic masculinity as well. I found it interesting that in the Gillette ad, boys grow up to be men…. but the language in the female empowerment ads only mentioned girls. The language we use influences how we perceive the world. So do we consider women "girls?" I mentioned this to my boyfriend, and he commented that maybe it's about women wanting to feel like they have "retained their youth," which I hadn't considered. So I countered that, in order for that to change, women need to change their perception that their worth is tied up in their youthfulness and attractiveness, which comes back to how we are barraged with those messages in media. It all comes back to the messages we receive when we are young. So these ads are powerful, albeit formulaic because it's a step toward telling young girls (who will grow up to be WOMEN) that they can do anything. I think the next step should be showing women in positions of power or strength without having to point out that they are women… Strength and confidence shouldn't be considered a masculine trait nor should emotion and empathy be considered a feminine trait.

  15. What would be really empowering is if we start hiring and promoting people based on their QUALIFICATIONS. That way their coworkers and subordinates would respect them because they would know they got the job based on their ability and not sex or skin color. Women can achieve anything, they just need to go out and work for it. If a woman does equal work she should get equal pay, but if her pay is less because she did not negotiate her salary as well as the next guy then that is her fault.

  16. I wish there was less of a gender divide. I think the more empathise society places on men and women as completely separate groups the more it actually hurts true equality. For the AD's to be truly inspiring to me it would focus on all the amazing things the person has done and not just focus on their gender. Edit: the fact that almost all these ads are selling beauty products really hits it home that appearance has always be traditionally what marketers of products hone in on within the female audience. I'm so tired of it.

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