Advertising has long been seen as a culprit for promoting negative stereotypes of women and fostering unrealistic body images. But the new, so-called ‘Fem-vertising’ movement is aiming to change that by emphasizing pro-woman images designed to empower women.
A growing number of ads are breaking away from tired gender stereotypes and presenting women and women’s products in ways that consumers can actually relate to. "Fem-vertising works because these types of ads champion girls and women — they speak directly to them, and the people who love them, and celebrate them during various aspects of their life," said Fama Francisco, vice president for global feminine care at consumer goods giant, Procter & Gamble.
The latest women-oriented ads show that gender norms can be challenged through advertising. Brands can sell products while also selling good ideas and good values and socially empowering women and girls. And this pro women view can give a powerful financial boost to a company.
Judging by the results of a survey conducted by a media company, Fem-vertising can give a powerful financial boost to a company. With larger brands, the impact can be even more substantial. Sales at Dove have reportedly soared from $2.5 billion to $4 billion in the 10 years since it launched its ‘Campaign for Real Beauty’.
Any brand that seems inauthentic and chasing dollars as opposed to truly trying to change gender norms will quickly be called out by women on social media, who will use their powerful purse strings to send a message financially, too.
Girls and women are smart. They know that these are ads, but if the ads make them feel good about themselves, if the ads help them realize we all have beauty inside us and beauty on the outside, if the ads help change gender norms, they react positively. And judging by the recognition, the viral nature and bottom line impact of these ads, many women are not tiring of the message of empowering women.