Women in Advertising

There’s a new word out there we should all familiarize ourselves with. “Femvertising” is the new trend in advertising, and it’s here to stay. Not only is this concept making companies money, but it is also empowering women.

Femvertising is “defined by moderator Samantha Skey, Chief Revenue Officer of SheKnows, as pro-female messaging within advertising” (1). These ads go against the traditional objectification of women, and instead focus on their natural beauty. Instead of stereotyping and focusing on the negative aspects surrounding women, these ads show empowered successful women. “An ad for Under Armour’s new “I Will What I Want” campaign celebrates the determination and accomplishments of ballerina Misty Copeland, who was told she had the ‘wrong body’ for ballet” (1). Many other companies have followed suit, including Always with their #LikeAGirl campaign.

SheKnows, a women’s lifestyle website, polled 628 women for an upcoming AdWeek Panel. “They found that 91 percent of respondents believe how women are portrayed in advertising has a direct impact on girls’ self-esteem, and 94 percent agree that portraying women as sex symbols in advertisements is harmful” (1). “51 percent of women polled like pro-female ads because they believe they break down gender-equality barriers, and 71 percent of respondents think brands should be responsible for using advertising to promote positive messages to women and girls” (1).

Femvertising is also paying off for companies. 52% of women said they had purchased a product, because they liked the way the ad’s portrayed women (1).

Our society is slowly demeaning authenticity, and that is what these ad’s are providing. Pam Grossman, the Director of Visual Trends at Getty Images told the Huffington Post, “We have a lot of content that shows pores and wrinkles. When it comes to showing cellulite and scars, we have a bit of that content, but we absolutely need to grow more.” This is the image of real women, and we shouldn’t be subjected to constant perfection.

It’s one thing for these companies to use women in their advertisements, but can they take it a step further by supporting these causes outside of their advertisements? Hopefully this movement will reduce the amount of objectifying ad’s circulating, but do you think these can be effective? I find these ad’s inspiring and touching, but is it a good idea for advertisers to try femvertising? or do you think capitalize on this trend will have a negative effect?


(1) Bahadur, N. (2014, October 2). ‘Femvertising’ Ads Are Empowering Women — And Making Money For Brands. Retrieved October 16, 2014, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/02/femvertising-advertising-empowering-women_n_5921000.html?utm_hp_ref=advertising

Under Armour. (2014, July 30). Missy Copeland – I WILL WHAT I WANT. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZY0cdXr_1MA

Always. (2014, June 26). Always #LikwAGirl. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjJQBjWYDTs#t=180

2 thoughts on “Women in Advertising

  1. These “Pro-woman” advertisements remind me of the ads during WW2 to encourage woman to help the soldiers by taking the jobs men couldn’t do once they left to fight in the war. I totally support these ads and love how people are finally taking a stand to stop using woman as a background object/sexualizing them. Excellent!


  2. Its about time considering women make up the majority of consumers, we had better have some ads that support and empower women. Not only do these ads make money and create buzz for the brand they also create a culture that embraces women and the empowerment of them. All I have to say is keep them coming!


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