Even in 2019, women are far too rare of finds in the advertising industry—even more so in C-suite level positions.
To encourage the advancement of women in the industry and celebrate their own illustrious female leaders and creatives, agencies across the U.S. are either partnering with their clients or acting on their own to create unique campaigns and projects around International Women’s Day on Friday.
Here’s how agencies are celebrating women today—and throughout Women’s History Month.
Huge unveils first smart tampon dispenser at SXSW
At SXSW on Friday, Huge unveiled what probably should have been invented years ago: the smart tampon dispenser. Called the “Hooha,” the dispenser currently resides in the Female Quotient’s FQ Lounge at SXSW and requires just a simple text to release a tampon—eliminating the archaic coin-operated mechanism.
“We’re so excited to be unveiling Hooha at SXSW on International Women’s Day, where we can rectify the decades-old tampon dispenser problem—and, at the same time, communicate the need for more women in tech,” said Steph Loffredo, senior social marketing manager at Huge.
Ogilvy’s “I Wanna Discuss”
Ogilvy is turning the IWD acronym on its head, transforming it into “I Wanna Discuss” to start a conversation about what both women and men think the industry should look like. The campaign is two-fold: a social media campaign encouraging employees to voice their opinions and a series of events spanning 20 markets and including panels, focus groups and mentoring sessions.
The satirical “That Lady Thing” activation returns
The tongue-in-cheek gender equality-focused experiential art installation that debuted in San Francisco last year returned to the city’s Phoenix Hotel on Friday with a fresh lineup of female-friendly activations and artists. From creative director Jamie Shaw and female-owned San Francisco and Dublin-based agency Cogs & Marvel, the event runs through March 10 and includes a scratch-and-sniff wallpaper that smells of toxic masculinity, “the shame booth” where women record stigmas that plague them, the “Pink Tax” gameshow and a fictitious ice cream parlor where the flavor of the day is wage discrimination.
R/GA celebrates Barbie’s 60th birthday
Barbie turns 60 this year, so the brand and R/GA are spotlighting women who have “shattered the plastic ceiling” in a social and experiential campaign called “Last Generation of Firsts.” The campaign includes a multi-platform AR experience on Facebook and Snapchat that allows people to see themselves as a plastic-ceiling-shattering Barbie with Camera IQ. It kicks off on March 8, the day before the very first doll in the franchise was created in 1959. On Saturday (Barbie’s actual birthday), the brand will also host a 60th anniversary pop-up shop in New York where fans can literally step into an oversized doll box of their choosing.
Publicis New York and S&P Global’s “Change Pays” installation hangs in the World Trade Center
S&P Global and agency Publicis New York are displaying a “Change Pays” installation today through March 13. Global currencies and bank notes featuring female portraits create a typographical illusion when hung 17 feet above the ground from the ribs of the World Trade Center Oculus, highlighting the positive effects of having greater female representation in finance. The installation also includes an accompanying AR experience.
Burns Group and Catalyst use Slack to diminish harmful gendered stereotypes
Burns Group and nonprofit Catalyst launched the first #BiasCorrect plug-in for Slack that tags unconscious bias in real-time conversations happening on the platform. The tool, built by tech company Eskalera, identified 25 stereotypical words sometimes used to describe women and replaced them with suggested, unbiased words (“assertive” instead of “aggressive” and “passionate” instead of “emotional,” for example). The campaign includes social, OOH and digital components featuring prominent women like Hillary Clinton and Gale King—and the harmful ways in which they have been described and misrepresented in the past.