Recently, my Facebook feed has been flooded with shares and likes of Always’ #LikeAGirl commercial. The three-minute ad explores our perceptions of what it means to do something “like a girl.” The moral being, acting “like a girl” should not be an insult.
Although there is a part of me that wonders if this is a little too emotionally exploitative for a company selling pads and tampons— I do think its sort of understood that great marketing is shamelessly rooted in that sort of psychology. Deeper philosophical conversations aside, this commercial is an example of a growing trend in advertising that I’ve been seeing more and more and particularly love. Perhaps since Dove’s Real Beauty campaign a decade ago, brands are intentionally creating ads and campaigns that focus on expressing and exploiting the values of the brand instead of just the product. This shift, from product-focused to values-focused advertising has the potential for tremendous effect and impact because it stops shoving product down our throats and gives us something to think about, grab on to or feel empowered by.
“Brands are intentionally creating ads and campaigns that focus on expressing and exploiting the values of the brand instead of just the product”
More fascinating, is how fluidly this type of campaign moves across social media platforms, creating buzz with women and girls from all over the world and different walks of life sharing and posting this content—rapidly expanding the impact and reach of the Always brand. Will I buy Always the next time I’m shopping for feminine products? Who knows. But in that moment, I do know that I will think about the commercial that all my friends were sharing on Facebook and most importantly, remember how I felt when I watched #LikeAGirl. And that is the power of creating content that resonates with individuals and the human experience. It’s not about Always, its about me and what I believe, and my beliefs guide my decisions—including my choice of tampons and pads. While the #LikeAGirl campaign has generated enormous interest online, there is always the question of authenticity when it comes to big brand viral marketing. It’s time for Always to practice what they’ve preached and capitalize on the newly captivated audience. They now have real opportunity to change consumer behavior and perception by backing their three-minute viral success with real programs for girls focused around transforming perceptions of puberty, period shame and what it means to do things #LikeAGirl.