Femvertising refers to advertising that employs and utilizes pro-female talent, messages, and imagery to empower women and girls. The idea behind femvertising is to deliver a great advert for brands and businesses while sending messages of empowerment and social impact.
In the past, advertising was not centred around women and was a tool for pushing several harmful agendas about women, like the objectification of women in mainstream advertising and many more. Now, this shift to femvertising is a good way to redirect and change this narrative, and actively involve women in creating and telling brand stories and showcasing them too.
There are a few key things that make femvertising so powerful. First, it helps to break down the barriers that often exist between women and girls and advertising. Too often, advertisements are sexist or otherwise exclusionary. Femvertising provides a more inclusive alternative, featuring authentic and relatable female talent in every ad. This not only makes the ads more interesting and engaging, but it also sends a powerful message of female empowerment.
Also, on the side of the brand, femvertising is highly effective in terms of marketing. The pro-female messages and imagery conveyed by femvertising help to build positive associations between brands and women. This can result in increased brand awareness and loyalty, as well as more sales and profits.
Although a couple of campaigns have been criticized for failing at an attempt at femvertising or misusing it for performative activism, some campaigns have successfully achieved the aim of femvertising.
The “Why can’t girls code” ad campaign by Girls Who Code was a perfect example of this. This ad perfectly captured the gender disparity in tech and the social message of the ad was clear and executed perfectly. The ad also expressed the message as a genuine need to end the gender gap in tech, not as a corporate, performative activism ad.
Another noteworthy ad is the Always #LikeAGirl campaign (which totally brings tears to your eyes when you watch it). Always has been criticized in the past for a couple of its controversial ads, redeemed itself with this campaign. This campaign centred on issues young girls encountered as they hit puberty especially with their self-esteem. The brand partnered with the United Nations and a couple of other entities and started a very relevant conversation with this campaign.
What is the need for femvertising?
Mainstream media is a very powerful social tool, and its impact cannot be overemphasized. When adverts specific to women and social change are aired, it reinforces the importance and by extension, educates the audience. Now, as these ads air over time, it becomes ingrained in our minds, and slowly people adapt to change and effect such changes because of their repetition.
Hence, there’s a huge need for femvertising and many corporate companies should key into this need, not in a performative way but with a sense of responsibility to help reduce the gender inequality in society. When trying femvertising, it is important to use real, relatable content that people can identify with. Also, it is important to pay attention to imagery and representation. People are very concerned about how they are represented, and making a mistake with imagery may ruin your entire ad. Instead, the focus is on creating your images with as much representation as possible.
The key here is to shed light and centre women’s skills and their core messages, be sure not to lose that in a bid to create a “rave”.
Written by Esther Jacqueline and Blessing Iyamadiken
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