Ad agency vows to stop creating ads that objectify women
- After co-founder and chief creative officer for Badger & Winters, Madonna Badger, released a video titled, "We Are #WomenNotObjects," the agency announced it will no longer create ads that objectify women and will also avoid overly digitally enhancing women featured in its ads.
- Although the move was taken to address a specific ad industry issue, it also fits into a current trend toward socially conscious marketing, especially for brands looking to connect with millennials.
- Badger & Winters' client base includes Avon, Vera Wang, Diane von Furstenberg and Nordstrom – all of which have largely female audiences.
Badger told the Wall Street Journal, "I want my life to have a purpose," and added, "I love my job but I don’t want to do it if it hurts anyone."
The process began in November when Badger ran an online search for "objectification of women" and found a large amount of advertising that either overly-sexualized women in the ads, or simply used them as props. The video Badger created was born of this research. She said it is also a way to honor her daughters who were killed in a house fire on Christmas Day in 2011.
Socially conscious advertising, including challenging viewers' notions about women in advertising is a trend that is gaining traction. For example, last year Droga5 created a campaign for Under Armor featuring Gisele Bundchen pummeling a punching bag as real-time social media comments – good and bad – about the super model appeared around her on the walls. The campaign, called "I Will What I Want," won last year’s only Cannes Lions Grand Prix awarded in the cyber category. According to Droga5, the agency behind the the spot, it received 1.5 billion impressions and led to a 28% sales increase for Under Armour.
Further, according to Omnicom Group's Cone Communications, Gen Y-ers will spend 70% more on brands that support causes. And now, there’s a subset of agencies, such as Enso, that are specifically leveraging the corporate social responsibility market to help brands effectively create and execute socially conscious advertising.
Enso Co-Founder Kirk Souder told Adweek in December, "Brands started saying we can't continue to have this approach to social responsibility … doing something in the margins. We have to embed it deeply into the business."
- Wall Street Journal Ad Agency Swears Off Crafting Ads That Objectify Women
- Mashable This video powerfully reminds the ad industry that women are not objects
- Marketing Dive Does values-based marketing really work?
- Marketing Dive Millennials demand social responsibility, marketers should give it to them