July 17, 2015 / By Christina DiPietro
Friday, July 17th 2015 marks the inaugural, #Femvertising awards proudly presented by SheKnows Media. The multi-media platform is now the top, women’s lifestyle, digital media company with an impressive 81 million unique visits per month. Their girl-powered, awards are taking place in perfect harmony with current events, swiftly following the Glass Lion debut at the 2015 Cannes Lions and the USA’s recent triumph at the 2015 FIFA Woman’s World Cup.
Commuting to work the morning of the ticker tape parade in NY for Team USA was quite the experience. Between the screaming fans fostering way too much enthusiasm for an early ferry and the face-painted kids struggling to stay awake, the commute was thick with pride and energy. Observing the fan-packed boat, I couldn’t help but smile. The soccer victory truly bonded people from all walks of life under one, shared moment of joy – I was basically tailgating at 8:00am. Aside from the feeling of community, I was fascinated by another detail: men in Carli Lloyd jerseys. As a woman and avid sports fan since before I could walk, this was a huge deal. Not only for the sports fan in me, but for the nation – for the world. As a kid, I remember watching the New York Jets games with my family, scanning the field for a pony tail hanging from a helmet. As I grew up, I wore my old, Glenn Foley jersey every Sunday and didn’t think twice about it. Eventually it became the norm; I would be a woman in a man’s jersey watching a man’s sport. For a young girl in the 90s, there weren’t many female athletes portrayed in the media and advertising, but here in 2015, female athletes are finally getting the recognition they deserve. Seeing a young boy sprint past me on the ferry proudly displaying his Women’s USA jersey was satisfying to see, as both a woman and a sports fan.
Sports brands like Nike and Under Armour are creating unique ways to appeal to the female consumer with stylish workout gear and inspiring social media campaigns. #Femvertising is not only beneficial socially, but economically for the brands that are the best storytellers. Women are more likely to engage with and purchase a brand to which they they have an emotional link. According to Adweek, 52% of women bought a product because they were happy with how the brand portrayed women and 43% said it made them “feel good” about supporting those particular brands.
Finally, a telling 92% of women can name one pro-female ad campaign. Positive, empowering storytelling works. The art of positive advertising is a force to be reckoned with. When brands use their power to promote gender equality, the results are positive. On the other end, 94% of women surveyed believe portraying women as sex symbols in advertising is harmful. Brands can’t possibly benefit from the gender with the most purchasing power being unhappy with their ad campaigns. Though positive female representation is lacking across all forms of media, I’m glad to see the clear progress in the sports arena since it’s very close to my heart. As we move closer to true gender equality, there won’t be a need for a Glass Lion and all ads will portray gender equality in sports and beyond. The same, of course can be said for the #Femervising awards. #Femvertising tells a story – the women in these ads aren’t sexualized, they aren’t reduced to cheerleaders in the stands; they are featured on the field playing side by side with the men.