Whether you leaned toward presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton or vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin, 2008 has been full of breakthroughs for women. From politics to the box-office success of "Sex and the City," this year showed the strength -- in presence and purse -- of women.
Best of all, when we sat down to decide which campaigns directed at women were worthy of our awards -- I modestly call them the 'Martis'- there were plenty to choose While 2007 featured strong initiatives, there were limited numbers. This year, there was a greater breadth and depth of marketing-to-women campaigns. More and more companies are beginning to understand that America's number one marketing opportunity, especially in today's financial climate, is women."
Our Martis salute campaigns that don't just reach women, but resonate with them. Here are the five that got it right:
- Procter & Gamble's Pampers, for its "Vaccines for Pregnant Women," working with UNICEF to provide tetanus shots to women in developing countries, where unsanitary birthing conditions put women and babies at risk. Pampers donated five cents per pack -- the cost of one tetanus inoculation -- and surpassed its goal of providing 45 million vaccinations. This campaign also earned high marks in our online surveys, where viewers commented that the effort "recognizes our bond with babies is universal and can cut across cultures and consumerism."
- Kimberly-Clark's Kleenex "Let It Out," which featured people laughing, crying and "letting it all out" on the Kleenex couch. The company then followed up with nationwide tour for the couch, as well as Olympic documentary and web site followed.
- GE's Time Saving Innovations, for its SmartDispense technology, enables washing machines to store up to six months of detergent, automatically dispensing detergent and fabric softener based on load size. Women love anything that saves them time and helps them work smarter.
- Liberty Mutual's The Responsibility Project, which used its "Responsibility. What's your policy?" tagline to get women thinking about issues of personal responsibility. We also liked the online community forum it created, as well as the short film by Grant Heslov ("Good Night & Good Luck.")
- The Discovery Channel's "I Love the Whole World" campaign, which brought together the network's talents to celebrate the Earth and its human community, focuses on what unites rather than separates us, she says, "and engages women viewers and heightens the relevance of Discovery's shows."