While we focus on women in South Africa during the month of August, I would like to take a moment to celebrate six brands who’ve been able to market to women in an authentic, positive way that celebrates their essence.
Women are leading businesses, boards and the governments of countries . They are also increasingly important customers. However, many businesses develop and market products without ever asking their female customers what is most important to them and why. Companies such as Nike, Volvo and Unilever have made gaining women’s input a key part of their marketing process, leading to marketing messages that resonate with females, as well as products.
Women are not looking for pretty and pink messages, we are not looking for vanity campaigns either.
I heard the most interesting term the other day when talking to a colleague about Women’s Month and how some brands really get the messaging right every time. She called it Femvertising. The technique makes use of “pro-female messaging within advertising”.
I love it! I have always been a fan of adverts and campaigns that shun the objectifying of women and girls and instead celebrate them. Universally, women respond very strongly to powerful storytelling and emotion in advertising.
So here are the brands I think are getting it right. Matching their advertising message with action and making an impact on the women who make up their audience.
Sheroes on the frontline
MRP Home launched a series called Healthcare Heroes. With the coronavirus pandemic putting immense strain on our healthcare system and staff, it is beautiful to see a brand showing appreciation to all the women working in the health sector.
Fear is not an option
1st for Women aims to empower women with the #IAmFearless campaign. The idea behind the campaign is the dream of allowing South African women to be fearless – free of the fear of judgement, the fear of criticism and the fear of not being enough.
Encouraging women to own their success
Too often women are taught to downplay their success or presence to accommodate other people’s egos. The Momentum campaign (I mean Womentum) is encouraging women to own their success, walk tall and break those ceilings.
Getting women to think about your product can be tricky. In order to effectively grab their attention, the traditional engagement model needs to be revamped from a category focus, to a lifestyle focus.
I love how Pick n Pay is using this month to highlight the female entrepreneurs in South Africa but also letting us, the consumer know, they stock these products.
The empowerment of women
There is no doubt that gender-based violence is on the increase and in my opinion not enough is done to protect our women. I have to give POWA a big high-5 for going bold with this campaign.
L’Oréal Paris has partnered with South African NGO People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA) on the EmpoweRED campaign, which aims to raise funds to assist women affected by gender-based violence (GBV).
For this campaign, L’Oréal Paris collaborated with 12 female social media influencers, who added their voices to the clarion call to combat the scourge of gender-based violence in South Africa. The women also promote the L’Oréal Paris Rouge Signature EmpoweRED lipstick range and L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Red Cream, as a portion of the sales in the month of August will be donated to POWA.
Highlighting the role of women in a sector
Tourism has suffered severely in the country since South Africa went into lockdown earlier this year.
The South African tourism community is rallying together to celebrates 31 stories of 31 women in tourism, as the heart of #IAmTourism campaign is to highlight the important role that women play in the tourism industry, and the extent to which their livelihoods have been impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign was conceived by South Africa is Travel Ready.
I liked this campaign because it not only highlights the devastating effect the lockdown has had on the tourism industry, but also reminds us of the women – many of whom are the breadwinners in their families – and the role they play in the industry. With over 70% of women making up South Africa’s tourism sector, the message is clear. You can give women economic support by putting your money where your heart is.
Charis Apelgren-Coleman is the market engagement manager at Kagiso Media Radio. She has worked with small and large local organisations as well as large multinational organisations, while managing specialist content teams.
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