In the recent past, some ad campaigns came out in support of societal causes and aimed at changing redundant mindsets.
by Aisiri Amin
Some ad campaigns have done more than just sell a product or build a brand image. Advertisements interrupt our daily shows and have us reaching out to the remote but lately, some ads have made it hard to do so.
These ad campaigns hit us with a strong message, resonate with us, and leave us with a thought that stays. When we see giant corporate companies such as Coca-Cola extending their support to a cause, it makes us believe a little more in the good.
Here are five adverts that reminded us to accept ourselves, broke stereotypes and fuelled our fire. They came out with a message that created ripples in the stagnant society that we live in.
#JetLoveYourself Ad Campaign
For a woman, there is an ideal body defined by three sets of numbers; 36-24-36. Anything more or less gives the body shaming card to people. We live in an age where loving yourself is a revolution. #JetLoveYourself, the Jet Ad Campaign by Joe Public Johannesburg-based in South Africa reaches out every woman with just one, strong message that we often forget: love yourself.
We see women of different body types telling their stories, posing for pictures in lingerie, showing off their curves and just being themselves. The diversity of women in the ad and their words that resonate with women across the world makes the ad campaign a message that questions redundant ideals of the society.
Coca-Cola Pool Boy Ad Campaign
In the ‘Pool Boy’ commercial, two siblings, a brother and a sister lusting over the same man should be just another usual advert. But it’s not. In the society that we live in which has its own versions of what’s natural and what’s not, this ad is considered ground-breaking.
The ease with which the ad campaign normalises the attraction between same sexes is breath of fresh air! But the portrayal of the gay brother as effeminate, an unnecessary generalisation, shows that we still have a long way to go to reach a world which sees homosexuality for what it is.
This Girl Can: Phenomenal Women
With Maya Angelou’s powerful voice reciting her inspiring poem, Still I rise, this ad encourages women to knock down the social limitations placed on about women who exercise. The fear of judgement is all too familiar for women in sports, be it the eyes that stare at them when they workout that makes them want to give up or when women whose bodies jiggle, who have crossed the half-century age mark and women who are mothers are told physical activity is not for them.
This empowering ad campaign by Sport England aims to break those stereotypes as we see women of different age, body types and race break into a beat. The ad brings together diverse groups of women to show that if a girl wants to, she can do whatever the hell she wishes to. She is a free bird and when the sky calls, she will fly and no cage will be strong enough to keep her in.
Be You –Jabong
The world that we live in has clear boundaries for men and women in terms of the work they do, their choices, their freedom and even what they wear. Society tells us that a man should stick to pants and shorts because skirts are feminine.
In Jabong India’s latest ad campaign, we see men breaking those shackles and wearing whatever they wish to. From skirts to jewellery, they sport everything with their head held high and send out a strong message about gender fluidity. Because restrictions give birth to rebels. It’s an ad that celebrates gender fluidity and inspires you to do the same
Australian Government – Domestic Violence – ‘Stop It At The Start’ – BMF
This advert by the Australian government questions the root cause of domestic violence. When parents of young kids normalise boys hurting girls, for instance, in the advert a young boy slams the door on a girl causing her to fall down and her mother rushes to her and says, “You are okay. He did it because he likes you.’’
They grow up thinking aggressiveness in boys is normal so when their husband behaves badly, they console themselves instead of standing up to them. Similarly, many young boys are told from their childhood that girls are the weaker sex and that they are the men, more powerful and dominant. So, they learn to show their manliness by abusing women. This important ad campaign shows why it is crucial to make children understand gender equality as well as the need for mutual respect from the very beginning.
Portia Ladrido is a multimedia journalist specialising in social justice, culture, and the arts. She is a human rights journalism fellow at the Philippine Human Rights Information Center and the Metro Manila hub coordinator of the Solutions Journalism Network. She currently writes speeches for the Philippines’ first female socialist senator. Previously, she worked as an editor and writer at CNN Philippines.