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CONDESCENDING SOAP

The TV commercials with ethereal rays of white sunlight amid an empty warehouse with sheer draperies and intermittent, soft piano music. The facial close-ups with dramatic pauses to highlight ambivalent expressions. These aesthetics were mawkish from the beginning, and they have been tirelessly presented to us as a representation of femininity in consumerism. What’s worse is the messaging they’re paired with.

We’re all aware of the criticisms the advertising world has leveled at the “Real Beauty” campaigns of a certain body and hair care brand over the past few years. Women lack self-esteem and it’s our own fault, right? That’s what they’re telling us. We should totally go buy the bossy soap now.

Instead of haughtily slighting us with an issue we may have as women, why not break the sugar-and-spice template and give us some of the dark grit and brawn, a reflection of something positive we seek to ignite within ourselves? Keyword: within.

A recent, unlikely spot from Dodge Ram Trucks, Courage Is Already Inside, has done just that. It encourages women to break stereotypes of weakness and to power through things we thought we were incapable of doing. The commercial’s rigid, steely imagery only amplifies the strength it attempts to inspire.

Consumers need to see and feel more of this vibe. In fact, it could work for brands across the board. To continue the conversation or learn more about Frank About Women, contact Chief Marketing Officer Shaun Stripling at 336.774.9397 or by email.

Sources:

Fast Company
Adweek
AdAge

Sarah Farland About the Author
Sarah Farland Assistant Media Planner

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