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A Brief Story Of Women In Advertising


Advertising has come a long way from the heydays of primal chest thumping and hyperbolic proclamations of supremacy. We’ve also made headway in regards to the plague of adverse gender appropriations (read misogyny).

Ever since the advent of modern marketing, women’s roles within society has been carved out as one that was inferior to man. To be fair to the advertisers of the time, it was a systemic issue that manifested itself in commercial communications.

Nonetheless, it was a vicious time in advertising where a women’s stature was constantly undermined. Ads were fraught with messages about her limited abilities and her place within the household and society at large.

As horrid as those ads above are, things are starting to look up.

The fight for gender equality has taken root and it’s slowly revealing itself in today’s commercials, albeit occasionally coming off as overtly affirmative.

‘Always’, a sanitary towel brand, redefined the phrase “Like a girl” and empowered young women all around the world by asking them to reimagine and rewrite what it means to belong to the female gender.

‘Mustang’, an American motoring company, recently reignited the conversation of gender roles by pranking unsuspecting male speed-daters with a female stunt driver.

It is very apparent that we are going through a paradigm shift as can be seen by the ads above. And as advertisers, we hold the power to sway this conversation towards an even greater tangent.

We have a long way to go but we surely are getting off on a good start. A lot of social stigmas are reliant on popular culture, and the conversations we propagate as commercial communicators play heavily into that.

So the next time you are writing an ad or just having a normal conversation, bear in mind the ideas we spread and how it may affect the world. We all play a part in the way our society will evolve.

Here’s to hoping that one day we see men in dishwashing detergent ads.

How is your brand changing the world?

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