Transport for London (TFL) last year unveiled a competition for brands to represent women “in all their diversity” and “challenge outdated and often negative stereotypes”. With the success of Dove’s real beauty campaign and Sport England’s ‘this girl can’ I am not sure brands need a big nudge, but TFL offered an incentive of free digital advertising space across their network.
The two entries most popular with the judging panel are worthy of sharing and a reminder of the power of simple, insightful and visual communication to challenge perceptions.
Competition winner Holland & Barrett (a health food chain) have developed a distinctive idea with a positive play on the word menopause. It is a simple, succinct and direct challenge to the menopause taboo and negative associations.
The second place entry from retailer Mothercare visually conveys a reassuring normality that counters a perpetual stream of celebrities announcing post-pregnancy reclaiming of their bodies. It is a 100% fit for the brand, but less distinct with some consumers likely to attribute these honest images and their link to beauty to Dove’s pioneering work – that has been sustained for more than a decade.
These simple, visual campaigns suggest there is still plenty of creative space for brands to confront outdated or unhelpful portrayal. It is also a crowded space, so the challenge is increasingly how to deliver this in a distinctive and relevant way that will ensure consumers connect purposeful provoking communication to the provoking brand.