From Barbie to Bud, What Brands Are Doing for International Women’s Day

Portraits of empowerment, achievement and inspiration

Barbie has unveiled a line of dolls based on inspiring women. - Credit by Mattel
Headshot of Tim Nudd

Today is International Women’s Day, and brands are committing like never before to honoring women everywhere, especially in light of the #MeToo movement that has rocked so many industries over the past year.

Below, see some of the branded efforts today. We’ll be updating this story throughout the day.


The Mattel brand unveiled dolls based on women heroes like Amelia Earhart, Frida Kahlo, Katherine Johnson and Chloe Kim. “Barbie is committed to shining a light on empowering
role models past and present in an effort to inspire more girls,” the brand says.


Glamour’s #NewViewfilm competition gave young aspiring female directors a chance to direct a short video for a notable brand. The brand turned out to be Birchbox, and the winner was Valerie Shenkman, whose five-minute video is below.

“While researching gender parity in the workplace, I read about how one of the main reasons there’s less female leadership is because of a lack of confidence in their self-worth,” Schenkman says. “In this video, we asked women and girls to tell us their perspective on success and failure—and found one overarching theme: Believe in yourself.”


Starting today through the rest of the month, Budweiser will be honoring its female employees via a photo series on the brand’s social channels. The women “represent some of the best in the beer business and their contributions make it possible to brew and deliver the freshest, highest quality beer all across America,” Bud says.

Shaniqwa Jarvis took all the photos. The women hold jobs from environmental safety and health management to mechanical engineering, spotlighting the unique jobs in the beer industry and what inspires the women photographed to brew Bud.

“Being a female engineers in the beer industry is unique. It inspires me fiercely support other women in the same roles and I have made amazing friendships because of it,” says one of the employees, Maura Quinn.


Narrated by Good Morning America host and former college basketball player Robin Roberts, the ESPN’s new spot, set to P!nk’s song “What About Us,” celebrates female empowerment and achievement in sports from the past, present and future. It will run as a lead-in to the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship Presented by Capital One.


GoPro rolled out a new video featuring a handful of its sponsored female athletes, including Olympic gold medalists Jamie Anderson (snowboarding) and Hilary Knight (hockey), and social influencers to highlight lessons learned from dreaming, risking, trying, failing and, ultimately, succeeding in sport and life.


Google Search Trends data shows the world is searching for gender equality more than ever before. Today, Google is celebrating the moments, stories and people who are advocating for a more equal world. Explore top searched trends around women this year at


The six-minute film “Paro” follows a girl’s journey as she secretly nurtures her passion for storytelling. For more on what HP is doing for International Women’s Day, visit

Johnnie Walker

Beverage giant Diageo’s Johnnie Walker brand added a female counterpart to its iconic mascot after more than 100 years in tribute to women around the world.


McDonald’s flipped the Golden Arches, turning its M into a W, on social media and at owner-operated location in Lynwood, Calif.

“In celebration of women everywhere, and for the first time in our brand history, we flipped our iconic arches for International Women’s Day in honor of the extraordinary accomplishments of women everywhere and especially in our restaurants,” Wendy Lewis, the fast-food chain’s chief diversity officer, said in a statement.

Reaction has been mixed, however.

National Geographic

Actress and activist Emma Watson is curating NatGeo’s Instagram today.

Old Navy

Of the 150 historical statues in New York City, only five are female. Old Navy today adorned all five, including Fearless Girl, with floral installations. The brand is also supporting Monumental Women, a movement dedicated to public representations of important women, with a $25,000 donation to the Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Statue Fund.

The New York Times

The Times has introduced the latest ad in its “Truth Has a Voice” brand campaign from Droga5, this time highlighting its commitment to telling the stories of women that often go untold. Also, the Times is launching “Overlooked,” an ongoing project of the newsroom dedicated to reporting and publishing the obituaries of notable women who did not receive them contemporaneously in the Times.

“Both the latest iteration of the Truth campaign and the debut of Overlooked illustrate how The New York Times holds powerful people and institutions accountable, including itself,” the newspaper says.

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.