- Planters health-focused line NUT-rition debuted a campaign around National Equal Pay Day to raise awareness about women's wage inequality, according to news shared with Marketing Dive. The snack brand teamed up with actress Laura Dern and the women's rights nonprofit Equal Rights Advocates (ERA) on the effort.
- The campaign features a hidden-camera video set in a grocery store, where unsuspecting customers are sold gender-specific bags of the products. Male customers are offered bags with 20% less product than those offered to female consumers, leading to angry, confused reactions. The difference in packaging represents the disparity between how men and women are compensated, with women typically earning about 80 cents for every dollar compared to their male counterparts, per NUT-rition.
- To support "The Pay Gap is Nuts" push, the brand is also releasing a limited-edition Equal Pay Pack that is 20% larger than its usual product. The Equal Pay Pack is available at a special website, PayGapIsNuts.com, and select retailers. Purchases of the pack benefit the ERA and a helpline for people dealing with pay inequality.
Planter's NUT-rition is tackling a divisive subject with marketing that flips the idea of the gender wage gap on its head, where men are negatively impacted by a receiving a smaller share of the brand's product than women are. From the hidden camera conceit to the idea of capturing frustrated customer reactions, the campaign closely recalls a "Chick Fries" stunt that Burger King ran last year, which courted controversy. The fast-food chain's effort spotlighted the "pink tax," or the mark-up that products targeted at women sometimes receive, with female customers featured in the video having to pay a higher price for the same chicken fries menu item men were purchasing, but in pink packaging.
Other marketers have taken more stylized approaches to addressing the same issue. Procter & Gamble's Secret brand in November debuted an #IdRatherGetPaid music video highlighting the gender pay gap, with appearances from celebrities and influencers like Sophia Bush, Samira Wiley and Catt Sadler.
An uptick in campaigns directly discussing gender and pay equality comes as marketers and agencies face more direct challenges to improve on those fronts at the corporate level. Initiatives like Free the Bid, which pushes for more female content creators in advertising and media, have steadily risen in recent years. Companies like Diageo have also begun to directly ask their agency partners for diversity stats, specifically around gender equality, which has ramped up pressure to improve representation.
For a traditional packaged goods brand like NUT-rition, focusing on more cause-driven marketing could be a way to forge an emotional connection with younger consumers. Gen Z and millennials, in particular, are more often expecting brands to listen to and respond to their needs and see brands as a important driver in breaking down stale gender stereotypes.