International Women’s Day is a global event focused on recognizing and applauding the accomplishments of women, whilst inspiring females across the world. Gender inclusivity is more important now than ever and should rightly be celebrated, however some brands are much better at it than others.
There have been plenty of PR disasters over the years from miscalculated strategies to insensitive press releases. So whether it’s maligned marketing tropes or just lazy stereotyped gender marketing, here are a couple of brands that struck the right cord with the public and a couple that would make Emmeline Pankhurst turn in her grave.
Brewdog have released their latest IPA: Beer for Girls ahead of International Women’s Day with the hope that their bright pink branding catches the eye of its target audience. This might seem like an incredibly uninspired campaign at first until you hear that the brewer is also offering a 20% discount to women who buy Pink IPA in its bars as a means of igniting the discussions about unfairness in the workplace. In addition to this, for the next four weeks, 20% of sales from the brand and its flagship Punk IPA offering will be donated to the Women’s Engineering Society (WES).
Pen manufacturer BIC were mocked after launching a collection of pink and purple pens advertised as ‘just for her’. As well as just following societal expectations of colour preference, the ‘sleek’ pens also promised to fit the smaller, dainty hand of a female more snugly than their male counterparts. More debatable claims are penned by Bic, including that their pens provide ‘smoother’ results than traditional writing tools. Needless to say social media had a field day with this huge blunder of a product.
A more modest campaign comes from book publisher Penguin. The initiative involves hosting a pop-up shop from the 5th-9th March located near Shoreditch that only features novels written by female authors. The bookshop will host a series of Penguin Live events to showcase some of the most exciting contemporary British female voices, with profits donated to Solace Women’s Aid. In this example we can see exclusivity is in fact promoting inclusion. All are welcome at the pop-up, but the overall purpose of the event is to highlight women’s contribution to literature, culture, history and society.
There's really no "polite" way to house a bag of Doritos. They're crunchy, they shatter into crumbs when you bite them, and they leave your fingertips coated in a delicious layer of Cool Ranch dust. But what about the women who love Doritos? Shouldn't they have the option to enjoy them like a feminine lady is expected? Doritos obviously thought so when they announced their new lady-friendly chips which would be just as flavourful, but "low-crunch" and not as messy on your fingers. Oh, and they'd be sized to fit a purse "because women love to carry a snack in their purse," she said. Needless to say the internet thought this to be incredibly sexist and the project has since been scrapped.
Probably left a bad taste in the mouth...