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Inspiring Women This International Women’s Day

It’s International Women’s Day (IWD) this Sunday. This year the movement is celebrating #EachForEqual, with the tagline; ‘an equal world is an enabled world’.

Although IWD has been celebrated across the world since 1908, we’ve still got a long way to go before we achieve gender equality.

According to last year’s ‘Women In The Workplace Report’, the global pay gap between men and women will take 202 years to close. On top of this, 42% of women say they’ve faced workplace discrimination.

Brands across the globe every year use their influence and reach to communicate women’s rights and the struggles they face on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, brands do get it wrong, especially when their products or brands have no association with the movement. Despite this, many brands do an incredible job of inspiring and spreading awareness of what needs to be done to move us forward to a fairer and more equal society.

We’ve taken a look back at some of the brands who’ve got it right over the past few years by digging through our database, which holds over a decade worth of emotional data, to find four ads which women found inspired them more than any others in the US.

Gatorade – Annie Hilton

As the title suggests, this ad from Gatorade tells the story of gymnast Annie Hilton and her incredible comeback from injury. The combination of the amazing story, clips of Annie at her best and worst, emotional testimonies from her parents and an inspirational backing track all contributed to high levels of inspiration among viewers.


More than half (52%) of women that saw the ad felt intense levels of inspiration, and it remains the highest-scoring ad for inspiration amongst women out of all the ads we’ve ever tested in the FMCG food and snacks category in the US.

The spot also scored highly for amazement, happiness, warmth and pride amongst women, and this emotional cocktail resulted in 46% of women saying they’d purchase Gatorade after viewing the ad versus a 36% norm and 55% of respondents saying they’d go on to share the ad versus a 31% norm.

Always – #LikeAGirl Unstoppable

This ad from 2016 topped our list of personal care ads, with 45% of women saying they felt inspired by the ad. It shows a series of interviews with girls of different ages asking them whether they’ve felt limited because they are a girl. The second half has the girls talking about how they’ve overcome the limitations that have been set for them by those around them and the society they live in.


Many of the answers the girls give are not only upsetting but likely relatable to many women watching the ad. The stories of overcoming limitations are a great counterbalance to the first set of answers we hear, and this part of the ad is most likely responsible for the high levels of inspiration among women viewers.

State Street – Fearless Girl

State Street Global Advertisers, the world’s third-largest asset manager, launched the ‘Fearless Girl’ campaign in 2017 to celebrate International Women’s Day. The campaign revolved around the company funding the creation of a statue in the shape of a girl and placing it in the centre of Wall Street in New York.


The statue was accompanied by a plaque, which stated ‘Know the power of women in leadership/SHE makes a difference’. It was partly aimed at Wall Street’s financial firms, who are notorious for having so few women in senior positions.

The ad, which shows the statue being created, is the most inspiring financial services ad we’ve ever tested, evoking inspiration in 41% of women respondents. However, despite this, the ad scored very poorly for brand recall, with 64% of viewers stating they couldn’t remember which brand was behind the campaign. This is likely down to the brand’s logo only appearing at the very end of the ad, with no mention of who is behind the campaign during the rest of the spot.

Nike – Dream Crazier

This ad released by Nike last year was the follow-up to the now-infamous “Dream Crazy” ad, featuring controversial sports star Colin Kaepernick.


The ad saw drastic differences in response between the two genders, inspiring 38% of women viewers compared with just 23% of men. Female viewers had a much stronger positive reaction and hence felt much more favourable towards the brand having watched the video.

This difference could be due to a lack of relatability for men, with some commenting they felt there was an undertone of positioning men as oppressors. A number of other viewers also said that they didn’t understand what Nike’s relevance was to the subject of the video, causing slight confusion.

Find out more about UnrulyEQ and make sure your campaigns deliver on your brand metrics with our emotion-powered testing and targeting solutions.