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The Best (and worst) Marketing of International Women's Day

March 8, 2018

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Happy International Women’s Day! We say ‘day’ but it's really more of an ongoing movement. IWD should be a time where brands are standing up and publicly announcing their support for female employees, consumers, and each other all year round.

 

So with this in mind, we’ve been trawling the digital world for brands that stood out to us today. Here goes:

 

The good....

 

McDonalds

For IWD2018 McDonald’s turned their classic golden-arches upside down as a "celebration of women everywhere". Although this stunt has received backlash with users still questioning McDonald's stance on minimum wage and employee values, we were quite impressed by this quick-win marketing stunt. Simple, yet effective and meaningful with good intentions, McDonald's have communicated an important message while still keeping their famous brand at the forefront of their actions.

 

 

(WO)Manchester

Today marks the day Manchester changed its name to “Womanchester” in a bid to remind the world it’s the birthplace of innovation and progression within the movement. The city managed to get many local businesses and people involved including (take a deep breath): Manchester Airport, Manchester Law Society, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, TFGM, the Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel, the Co-operative, Greater Manchester Police, NatWest, Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Manchester and Manchester Central (now breath!).

 

Womanchester have urged those taking part to pledge their support by implementing marketing campaigns through changing logos and colour schemes, and by sharing messages of support on social media.

 

 

BeerBods

 

Less is more right? Now, all hail the most successful and simple tweet of 2018 so far:

There’s no elaborate marketing faff needed here. With one powerful tweet BeerBods communicated just what everyone wanted to see today. Despite other brands implementing bold stunts with questionable self brand PR intentions at heart, BeerBods boast authenticity and get straight to the point with what really matters. After all, actions speak louder than bright colours and billboards. High five from us!

 

 

Trouva

 

Subject line: YOU'VE GOT FEMALE 📩

 

 

Trouva’s email campaign caught our attention today, as an aggregator of independent boutique shops the brand focused on ‘independence’ as their campaign theme... which of course was very fitting today!  As a way of supporting female boutique owners Trouva shone the spotlight on hard working women running successful retail business across the UK.

 

 

One Minute Briefs

 

We have expressed our love for OMB’s, the popular Twitter community for creatives, before (read our full post on this here). OMB’s announced their one minute brief this morning as: Advertise International Women’s Day. As usual, our very own wonderful blog designer, Tommy Mason, posted his response by demonstrating a supportive logo change. And us bloggers love it… because women write too!

 

Now for the bad…

 

Brewdog

 

The most controversial campaign this week has to go to Brewdog who tweeted about their launch of a new Pink IPA “for girls only”. This stunt started off as a great marketing idea, but sadly the execution was a little amiss and social media brewed up a stormy response. Without any explanation of the original concept, the public were left feeling patronised and belittled.

 

 

 

Many felt that by publicising this concept, Brewdog were in fact in support of the idea that women ‘can't drink normal beer’, thus supporting stereotypes and inequality. Other users felt the use of pink also supported stereotypes created by a misogynist society.

 

After Twitter’s reaction and realising their stunt had either missed the mark or not been communicated as a ‘joke’ well enough, Brewdog added a second tweet including the hashtag #sarcasm. This proved the brand felt weary of their previous miscommunications (although alarm bells should have been ringing to stop digging a deeper hole at this point!).

 

Personally, we think Brewdog may have missed the mark with their initial execution. What may have seemed a great idea in their marketing meeting sadly didn’t go to plan. Good intentions or not, Brewdog trod heavily on a very sensitive subject and didn’t know when to say sorry.

 

Was their initial campaign really a joke? Or, was the sarcasm hashtag the result of an afterthought? Did they really just totally get it wrong? Or, was the whole thing a giant PR stunt? Any publicity is good publicity; that’s what they say right? Despite Brewdog's poor execution, it did get people talking. And after all, that’s how awareness works. So some may argue this campaign did the job.

 

You can read the interesting (and debatable) article from Brewdog here.

 

 

So what have we learnt from the above brands? Well, if you are bringing a new product to market aimed at women, stop and think before launching your marketing campaign (we are talking to you Doritos, Brewdog, Yorkie)! We know that in recent years it's ‘ethics that sells’, but women don’t need any extra frills on your campaigns. Many brands are supporting women fantastically with simple principles in mind; take a leaf from their book.

 

Keep it simple, meaningful and fun. And most of all, don’t just make it all about your brand, ethics only sells if it's really ethics.

 

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