Words, Ideas, Stuff
Some ideas and thoughts, captured with the view to help you.
At a recent Marketing conference in Ōtautahi, Christchurch, NZ, Dan West of FCB Digital in Auckland shared insights about how women are featured in advertising. It's disappointing that in 2019, how women are represented is still so abysmal.
Dan shared the research on the role women have when featured in ads which shows:
- 60% of women featured are in a negative light
- only 4% show women in aspirational roles
- and around 3% portray women as being relatively intelligent.
Remember the old saying that every dollar you spend casts a vote for the world you want to live in? Did you also know that the brands with the big advertising budgets are increasingly visible on all our social, media and digital platforms? The average Instagram user is on Insta every day and 90% of the top 100 brands in the world also have an Instagram account, so we're all hanging out in the same space. We as consumers have power to support brands that align with our values, don't underestimate that power and choose wisely what you follow, like or where you spend your hard earned cash!
There’s more you can do though.
If you work in a role where you manage or can influence your company or client’s brand, and how women are portrayed, start a new conversation or make the change. You can let people know about this sorry state of affairs and it’s likely that common sense and a desire to do the right thing will prevail. But if not, ask.
Ask directly for women to be portrayed positively.
Ask for real, diverse, interesting women … ask for them to steer clear of photo shopped bs, skeletal or unrealistic Barbie body types, or one-dimensional vapid shots, or images that show women as lacking aspiration or intelligence.
We all know women that have these and more, in spades, so let’s make sure we are all seeing these types of women reflected in the media and in advertising. Women like us all. We know how powerful the phrase ‘you have to see it, to be it’ is – so let’s use our consumer power and our voices to make our online ‘reality’ reflect ‘IRL’ reality.
"Imagery, like anything else, can be healthy or harmful, addictive or nutritious" - Rankin
The other ‘brand’ to think about when we’re looking at how women are portrayed, is your own - your personal brand. Most of us have social channels and platforms that we share snippets of our lives on. And we snap and share pics of ourselves a lot. Rawhide’s research says that over 1,000 selfies are posted on Instagram every second!
Another study by Now Sourcing and Frames Direct says that “the average millennial will spend an hour a week on selfie duty, which can be anything from taking the photo to re-taking and editing it.
Considering the average lifespan is 27,375 days, an average millennial is expected to take 25,700 selfies during their lifetime”.
Often, we edit these images ruthlessly and only share those we think are flattering.
We delete those we think make us look tired, fat, funny, wonky, short, tall, thin, bony, curvy or whatever label we’ve decided we don’t like.
All those images get chucked in the bin. Out come the filters and the editing software and ta-dah, we’ve photoshopped ourselves and curated our image library in the same way we hate the magazines doing.
So let’s lead the ‘real women’ movement ourselves, let’s share those raw and unedited (or less edited) pics that show joy, tears, fun, fear, courage, excitement and inspiration. Those real moments where we’re living our lives, not editing them.
You can read more about the marketing insights here.