What is ‘Femvertising’?
What is ‘Femvertising’?
Over the last year, the advertising industry has been churning out more and more adverts that use pro-female talent, messages and imagery to empower women of all ages. However, pro-female advertising or ‘femvertising’ is nothing new – Nike’s 1995 ‘If you let me play’ advert kicked things off by championing young girls’ enthusiasm for sport. Nine years later and Dove’s famous ‘Campaign for Real Beauty’ showed women of all shapes and sizes, deeming them their brand ambassadors. More recently, Dove has released a chain of spine-tingling adverts that have gone viral because women really connect with the issues that they explore. A particularly interesting advert was their ‘Real Beauty Sketches’, in which an artist drew two portraits of women, one based on how they described themselves and another on how a stranger depicted them. The results showed just how skewed a woman’s own perception can often be with regard to their own image. Other notable campaigns have been Always’s ‘Like a Girl’, and Pantene’s ‘Sorry Not Sorry’.
So what is point of these ‘femverts’? For companies, they hold the key to raising their bottom line profits, as a survey recently conducted by SheKnows reveals. It showed that over 52% of women bought a product because they like how the company’s marketing portrayed women, and over half of the women surveyed said they liked the adverts because they champion gender equality. These femverts are part of what has been dubbed as feminism’s digital fourth wave, as aside from increasing company profits, they also address ingrained issues surrounding the media’s depiction of female beauty. The gap that exists between the media’s ideal, and how women actually look and feel, has long been an issue for women across the globe. In addition to this, it is clear that a lot of companies are investing more of their marketing budget into making their brand appeal to the female consumer; many have been targeting a solely male audience for years. This is quite the faux pas, as it has been revealed that women hold around 83% of all purchasing power!
One of the reasons femvertising is flourishing now, it because social media has helped videos to go viral. With over 45% of women surveyed saying that they shared a ‘pro-female’ message on their social media alongside a femvert, a virtual bundle of body-image and self-worth positivity may be the reason behind femvertising’s recent success. In addition, 62% of women thought that any brand could use pro-female message to promote their products.
Personally, I am excited for this trend in advertising to be taken one step further. I would love to see companies and advertising agencies employing more men to champion female empowerment. As purported by the #HeforShe campaign, launched by Emma Watson at the end of last year, gender equality is an issue for men as well as women. Seeing an advert that not only shows women supporting other women, but men supporting women, is I hope, where this trend is headed.
Marina is currently in her third year at the University of Exeter in the UK. She is studying English and will graduate this summer. She is a member of Her Campus Exeter, an online magazine where she write articles as well as help to run the magazine as Vice President. Marina is also an active member of the university’s Badminton club, and was this year elected to be their publicity secretary. She enjoy managing the club’s social media outlets and publicising their events, as well as the diversity of her university, and the different cultures that she is surrounded by constantly intrigue her.