Brands using advertising as a way to challenge gender norms and empower women may not be new, but an award celebrating that work is. SheKnows Media, a women's lifestyle digital media company, will present its first-ever #Femvertising Awards at the company's BlogHer conference this weekend.
The awards will honor brands in categories like: Humor (which will be awarded to Hello Flo, for "First Moon Party"), Social Impact (Dove, for "Speak Beautiful"), Inspiration (Ram Trucks, for "Courage Inside") and Next Generation (Always, for "Like a Girl").
"We had conceived of the awards because we were following a trend in advertising around female-empowered messaging and creative," said Samantha Skey, SheKnows Media's chief revenue and marketing officer. "We decided it was a good moment to reward the companies that were making a special effort to inspire and motivate positive behaviors among women and girls."
Award winners have the opportunity to work with SheKnows on a new advertising campaign, keeping in mind the mission of empowering women and girls. "What we're offering each of them is the opportunity to run a full campaign—from production and creation of the creative in our SheKnows studio—and distribute to our vast network of women, which is 80 million strong," said Skey.
"These are not NGOs or public service announcements; these are ads meant to drive product sales," she said. "We want to make sure that we're delivering on the femvertising principles of empowerment and also delivering on the bottom-line objectives for each of the clients we work with."
Over 60 campaigns were submitted for consideration, and finalists were announced in June. The awards also include a People's Choice category—it will be awarded to Sayfty—and a Hatch award, which will go to Sport England, honoring those brands selected by teens and tweens.
"I'm really proud of the fact that Dove has been playing in this space for the better part of 10 years and thrilled that other brands are jumping on the bandwagon to push it along," said Kathy O'Brien, vp of skin and marketing services for Unilever North America. O'Brien noted that Dove will consider collaborating with SheKnows on its campaign but that no firm plans are in place.
Marissa Hunter, head of Ram advertising at Chrysler, said the company would strongly consider working with SheKnows on a campaign and that "the response [to our campaign] has been very positive, and we're proud of being able to connect with this audience."
SheKnows will also honor L'Oréal Paris with a special Wildfire award for the brand's "Women of Worth" program, which seeks to foster women's self-worth.
"L'Oréal Paris proudly celebrates the intrinsic worth and beauty of all women and is excited to be a part of a movement that is empowering women to make a difference," said Malena Higuera, L'Oréal Paris svp of marketing.
Check out the winning campaigns below:
Humor: Hello Flo's "First Moon Party"
Social Impact: Dove's "Speak Beautiful"
Next Generation: Always' "Like a Girl"
Inspiration: Ram Trucks' "Courage Inside"
Wildfire: L'Oreal Paris' "Women of Worth"
Hatch: Sport England's "This Girl Can"