Paramount Network, NowThis revise Wikipedia pages to spotlight gender imbalance
- To promote its new dramedy series "American Woman," Paramount Network partnered with social news publisher NowThis on a Wikipedia edit-a-thon with the cast of the show, co-executive producer Kyle Richards and other special guests, according to a news release made available to Marketing Dive.
- The WikiWomen Edit-A-Thon was inspired by a Wikipedia stat showing that just 16% of the online encyclopedia's editors identify as women. Female editors from Wikipedia led training sessions on how to navigate the site's editorial platforms and helped participating representatives from Paramount Network write and edit several articles, including profiles of artists, athletes and second-wave feminism. During the event, 18 new articles were created, 40 were edited and nearly 10,000 words were added to existing articles.
- NowThis is producing a branded video around the event that will be distributed across its social media channels on June 4. "American Woman" is inspired by the upbringing of Kim Richards from "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." The series stars Alicia Silverstone as a mom struggling to raise two daughters during the '70s and as second-wave feminism is on the rise. It premieres on June 7.
Paramount Network and NowThis are trying to tap into the shifting cultural conversation around how women are represented in media by spotlighting gender imbalance on Wikipedia, one of the most-used websites in the world. Beyond the edit-a-thon component of the campaign, Paramount Network is working with a publisher known for its viral social content on a branded video push, pointing to marketers' growing interest in native video advertising that closely mirrors the look and feel of editorial offerings.
The partnership comes as Paramount Network is potentially trying to distance itself from its former image as Spike TV, a network targeted at men and known for heavily macho-themed programming. Parent company Viacom rebranded the network earlier this year in part to broaden its audience and focus more on the type of prestige scripted programming that is popular on TV at the moment. But the change and release of a series like "American Woman" also follows the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements that have amplified women's empowerment and helped raise awareness about issues like the gender gap in editorial roles, which men still dominate.
Action-driven campaigns like rewriting Wikipedia articles are appealing to younger consumers, who already make up a large segment of NowThis' audience. These age segments tend to have high expectations for their favorite brands and are willing to reward those that take a public stance on social issues, like gender equality. Similar to the edit-a-thon, the agency BBDO New York in March launched a public-awareness campaign calling on online dictionaries to change the definition of the word "woman" to remove outdated or tone-deaf terms.