Commentary

Female Empowerment Ads: Why Execution is More Important Than Theme

In the current media landscape, we noticed a growing trend of advertisements that put a strong emphasis on female empowerment, especially in the wake of the Women’s World Cup.

From media heavyweights like Nike and Kellogg’s to lesser-known TV advertisers like Bumble or The Girl Scouts, it seems everyone is jumping on the female empowerment bandwagon.

Based on an ad analysis we conducted, two campaigns emerged as examples of a great execution of a trendy creative approach: Nike’s “Dream Crazier” and Special K’s “Women are Amazing.”

Relate to the ladies

Special K’s campaign performed at higher than normal indexes for Brand Memorability, and (unsurprisingly) performed higher among women than men. The ad showcased a broad spectrum of women (mothers, business owners, students, athletes, etc.), so audiences felt a genuine connection to the ad, especially when it showed various situations that women could relate to. According to our data, the "Women are Amazing" campaign performed 53% higher in Breakthrough (how well consumers remember the ad), compared to the Special K historical brand norm.

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Make a statement

On the other hand, Nike, commonly known for inspirational sports ads and sleek messaging, took a slightly different approach. The athletic brand highlighted the trials and tribulations that females in athletics had to endure over the years, and later calls out and challenges common misconceptions and assumptions about women in sports. According to our data, the informative appeal of the ad performed 36% higher than the database norm among females, illustrating that audiences felt that the ad was believable and appropriate for the times.

Good, but not quite ready for everyone

The key is to celebrate female empowerment when the goal is specifically to target women, but if men are also part of the target, then try to incorporate a strategy that is a bit more universal. Relative to their respective norms, males i had Breakthrough that performed about the same or slightly below, while females were 16% above their norm, according to our data. From this, we are able to conclude that utilizing a female empowerment theme can better target and impact a female-specific audience, but does not necessarily guarantee success across the board.

So, where does this leave us?

If advertisers want to make a strong impact on audiences with ads that feature female empowerment, it all comes down to execution. Choosing relevant and informative material that audiences can relate to is essential to achieving maximum Breakthrough. Otherwise, the ads will be met with indifference or cynicism, and do little to drive the message of the brand, or female empowerment as a whole.

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