Brands flooded this year’s Super Bowl with commercials that shared a common theme: women’s empowerment. There’s a clear business strategy behind these female-focused commercials (described in detail below). But it’s important to know that it takes the right video production agency to pull off a women’s empowerment ad — one that hits the right notes.
Super Bowl ads have traditionally portrayed women as objects to be admired or obtained. But, during this year’s big game, ads portrayed women as powerful and independent. Take a look at some of the great work brands and their production companies churned out:
Audi created an ad called “Daughter” that focused on the gender pay gap:
Carrie Bradshaw (played by Sarah Jessica Parker) traded her trademark Cosmopolitan for a beer in “Change Up The Usual” by Stella Artois:
And Gillette made news by not airing its “We Believe: The Best Men Can Be” commercial, which addresses toxic masculinity:
At Ezra Productions, we are among the few women-owned video production companies in the nation. We serve as the video production agency that brands trust to execute on women’s empowerment campaigns — and a host of other brand video production projects that are sensitive in nature and that demand the right touch.
Read on to learn more about women’s empowerment in advertising, and get in touch if you’re looking for the perfect commercial video production company for your next project.
Sexism in Advertising: A Look Back
Advertising in the 1950s and 1960s was appallingly sexist. BuzzFeed created a list of 17 sexist ads from the Mad Men era, but the list could be much longer. These old-school ads frame women as stupid, bad drivers, and existing only to keep men happy. Here’s an example of the subservient wife approach that so many mid-century advertisers used:
But sexist ads crept into the later 20th and early 21st century, too. Common tropes about women in advertising today include:
- Women as crazy
- Women as gold diggers
- Women as bimbos
- Women as baby- or wedding-obsessed
However, that is starting to change. There are two primary reasons why women’s empowerment is destroying these tired tropes in advertising.
What is Causing the Uptick in Women’s Empowerment Commercials?
Commercials with women’s empowerment themes didn’t suddenly appear during Super Bowl LII. Take a look back over the past few years, and you’ll see women’s empowerment as an emerging trend.
Dove focused on authenticity with its “Real Beauty” campaign:
And Under Armour’s “I Will What I Want” campaign featured women facing down criticism and rejection:
More and more brands are focusing on women’s empowerment for two reasons:
1. A Growing Spotlight on Gender Equality
To some degree, brands are joining a movement that’s already taking place. Today, women are still paid less than men. Women are less likely to lead companies or countries. And women are more likely to experience physical or sexual violence. The viral #MeToo movement and grassroots organizations like the Women’s March are forcing these gender equality issues into the spotlight, and savvy brands are paying attention and taking advantage of the momentum.
At Ezra Productions, we were honored to play a small part in the gender equality movement, shooting Kering’s #BeHerVoice campaign video featuring Kelly Slater:
2. A Huge Market Opportunity
As noted above, women also represent a huge market opportunity in the 21st century. Brands have started to realize that women drive 70–80% of all purchasing decisions, and they demand attention as an audience. Women’s empowerment in advertising is a small portion of the greater attention brands are (justifiably) lavishing on women.
A Warning: Do Not Make These Advertising Mistakes
Here is another reason why you should choose a quality option from among women-owned production companies: It’s easy to make mistakes when creating a video about women’s empowerment or other forms of activism.
You may remember Pepsi pulling a 2017 ad that many accused of “trivializing Black Lives Matter.” Women’s empowerment, racial inequality and other forms of activism are not to be addressed haphazardly through advertising. How can you avoid a Pepsi-style mistake? Follow these three guiding principles:
- Stay Positive: Focusing on promoting a group rather than tearing down another group. If you tear down a group, you risk alienating a portion of your buyer base.
- Be Authentic: Studies show that consumers are now tuning out stock images and people who look like models. The ads mentioned above are effective because they star real people being their authentic selves.
- Back Your Ad With Action: Your ad can’t be the end of your message. If you address women’s empowerment in a commercial, your brand better be supportive of women’s empowerment in real life. If not, your ad is just lip service — and ultimately ineffective.
Find the Right Video Production Agency for Your Next Project
When you’re searching for the best brand video production agency for an upcoming project, especially if you’re addressing women’s empowerment or another sensitive-but-essential topic, the team at Ezra Productions can deliver the expert guidance and outstanding results you need.
As a leader among women-owned video production companies, we bring a fresh and unique perspective to our work as a brand video production company. Whether you need video production in Los Angeles, New York or another market, let’s start the conversation about how to best create and connect a message that resonates with your target audience.
Get in touch today to learn more about what we can accomplish as your video production agency.