In this campaign, Always is displaying a grand gesture of corporate social responsibility. The discrimination that women (its customer-base) face is addressed and, in doing so, Always has positioned its brand as relatable, progressive and altruistic. By advancing the idea of equality, Always is embracing the potential of society while helping young girls recognize their true potential. Although there are no specific products being sold, pushing the idea that no girl should be ashamed of whom they are and what they love to do is, in my opinion, an excellent approach to raise awareness and revenue.
Always is certainly not the first of its kind. The Dove Campaign for “Real Beauty” was born more than 10 years ago and since has become both an admired and successful marketing initiative. The campaign produced one of the most-watched ads of all time – “Real Beauty Sketches” now boasts more than 65 million views.
But what separates the Always campaign from the rest is that it chose the Super Bowl timeslot to reveal its messages of empowerment to the masses. Although companies like Pantene and Goldieblox have taken a similar approach in addressing gender stereotypes, none have invested in Super Bowl ads that reach after a much larger and more diverse audience. The Always commercial substantiates on a larger scale that brands are beginning to employ different advertising tactics to reach women. By redefining a saying notorious for adding insult to injustice, Always has forced us to shed our stigmas and has made sure everyone is paying attention by announcing it during the most watched broadcast in U.S. history.
With discussions of inequality, particularly between genders, making headlines of late, it has become as good a time as any for more influencers to embrace female empowerment as an avenue to reach audiences and effect change. By adopting this strategy, companies have the ability to positively impact brand loyalty and the bottom line and at the same time move the needle, even if in the smallest of increments, on stereotypes and social hierarchies.
If more companies jump on this proverbial bandwagon, we could become one step closer to true equality for all, proving that marketing can be a force for good fortune and good will.
Kim Cox is an Account Executive with the Karma Agency.