Companies need to be wary of stereotyping their target audience, as it will only serve to alienate them and ultimately lead them away from a brand.

There are recent examples of companies turning stereotypes on their heads and making an audience think about how those generalisations relating to gender can be damaging.

Kath Hipwell, head of content strategy at Red Bee Media., explained in an interview with Marketing Magazine how Always has taken a novel approach to attract women to its brand.

The company has created an advert where the viewer sees adolescents being filmed and asked to ‘run like a girl’ or ‘throw like a girl’. In each scenario, the person being directed behaves in a way that indicates the term is an insult. The director of the video then asks young girls to do the same, with the result that they perform at their best.

It goes on to make the point that a girl’s confidence is at its lowest during puberty and hints that gender stereotyping is only adding to, or perhaps creating, this sense of worthlessness.

Always states that it wants to “champion girls confidence”. This is a powerful message that appeals to older women who want to protect the younger generation and of course to those adolescents who are not so confident.

Ms Hipwell explains that “instead of using the psychology of behavioural economics in a covert manner to persuade you to buy, Always actually taught us something about ourselves and our world”.

She highlighted Pantene as another company challenging stereotypes by suggesting that women apologise unnecessarily for their actions more than their male counterparts. The subject is dealt with in its so-called ‘not sorry’ film.

This kind of marketing helps to engender loyalty, but perhaps more importantly it gets people talking, and that is a very effective form of brand awareness.

Make content like a girl: how brands are turning to feminism for content inspiration, Brand Republic

Posted by Robin McCrink