Another International Women’s Day is almost over, and like years past, there were many posts by brands and individuals in celebration of the day. In a world increasingly dominated by the digital, it is great to see brands turn to video for powerful and inspirational messages in celebration of the key dates in our calendars. For me, a few brands stood out more than the others with creative content and strong messages. Netflix played on the need for women in stories on and off the screen while Turkish social content platform Onedio.com brought to screen powerful messages agains stereotypical views of women.
Check out these and other favourites.
The women of the Netflix family are spotlighted, including Stranger Things‘ Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), House of Cards‘ Claire Underwood (Robin Wright), The Crown‘s Queen Elizabeth II (Claire Foy), and the large ensemble of Orange Is the New Black. Leading women disappear from their scenes, causing the viewer to switch to another title.
The climax features footage from the penultimate episode of OITNB season 4, with the women of Litchfield banding together to protest how they’re being treated by the guards.
“Our stories don’t work without women,” says the video. “And the world wouldn’t, either.”
Onedio.com‘s International Women’s Day video is titled “Kadınlardan Erkeklere Bir Mesaj Var” (“A Message from Women to Men”) It opens with a chain of orders, “bakma, yapma, gülme, gezme” (“Don’t look, don’t do that, don’t laugh, don’t go out”) followed by the response “Sana ne?” (“Is it your business?”) seemingly the women’s response to these orders. Yet more orders are followed by “Sence öyle ama bana ne?” (“It may be so in your opinion but I don’t care.”) What follows is a chain of comments seemingly from men such as “That’s not ladylike” followed by women’s replies such as, “Oh yes, very much so!” The word “bayan” (“lady”) is corrected as “kadın” (“woman”). The stats that follow are stark: last year 328 women were murdered while hundreds of thousands suffered physical abuse. The video ends with “Erkek için haksa, kadına da haktir.” (“What is a man’s right is a woman’s too.”)
The energy drink giant brought us an action-packed video with footage that was further proof – as if we needed any! – that whatever a man can do, a woman will do equally well, if not better. No messages, no voiceovers required, the one and half minute footage shows women perform great feats of adventure from kite surfing to mountain climbing.
A beautifully crafted mini film which needs no bells and whistles to get its message across comes from Chennaites, the YouTube channel for the capital city of the state of Tamil Nadu in India, Chennai. The footage concentrates on hands – hands cooking, palms aligned in a yoga pose, hands patting down clothing and unruly hair, hands reaching out for a pair of glasses or a handbag… as the film walks us through a day with its focus only on the feminine hands as the owners go about their daily lives.
“To all the hands that touched our lives. Happy Women’s Day” is the simple message the video ends with.
Another powerful campaign for #IWD2017 cam from Western Union with their #TheRaceIsOn video. With the message ‘Education has the power to change women’s lives’ at the forefront, the minute-long video shows girls of different races but of similar ages eyeing each other up and down as if they are lined up on the start line even though they are all in their environment.
“Okay girls, the race is on,” the voiceover kicks off as the girls all start a race which follows their track in different parts of the world. “To be the first female to run the United Nations, the first female to run the United States, the first female to set foot on the Moon – wait a minute, scrap the Moon – to be the first person to set foot on Mars.”
“Study hard and dream bigger” the message reaches its climax as each girl makes it through the doors of their school building.
While ‘real women’ is a phrase that has become a bit of a cliché, Turkish bank QNB Finansbank brings together real women of all ages to tell us what they have learned or as they say in Turkish ‘understood’ about life. The advice delivered with fascination, wisdom, laughter and almost tears ranges from “You must time your shoe laces as soon as they come undone” to “Try and travel as much of the world by the age of 35” to “Don’t ever rely on anyone to make a living, be self-sufficient”. QNB Finansbank message, “The more we understand, the more we get along. With love to all women.”
You know anything set to Beyoncé’s girl power anthem “Who run the world” is going to be about powerful women and this Nike Turkey ad is not exception. Starring in the ad entitled “Bizi Böyle Bilin” (“This Is Us”) are young sportswomen shown in what initially look like stereotypical expectation the society places on its girls: in the kitchen dipping fingers into flour, ready to cook, or checking out the gold in a jewellery shop. What comes straight after completely flips the script, defying all confines imposed on women. The ad also sends up the former Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç (who caused outrage in 2014 when he declared women who laugh in public) with the line, “We wouldn’t dare laugh in public, now would we?”