#InternationalWomensDay: Smart Brands Are Challenging The Perception Of Women in Advertising

In celebration of International Women’s Day, Louise Tullin, Marketing and Communications Director EMEA at video ad tech Unruly, looks at the way brands are changing the way they advertise to women.

‘This Girl Can’. ‘Inspire Her Mind’. ‘I Will What I Want’.  These are the titles of ad campaigns, supporting products as varied as sporting goods and telecommunications. But what connects these promotions is that they represent a sea change in the role of women in the world of advertising. Advertising is slowly but steadily changing its treatment of gender roles, and the smartest brands are leading the charge.


Advertising to women has come a long way. Search for “vintage ads to women” and it can be quite a shock.

Thankfully, sexist ad slogans such as “If Men Hate The Sight Of You, Read This”, “Most Men Ask Is She Pretty, Not Is She Clever” and “Is It Always Illegal To Kill A Woman?” have been consigned to the dusty history books forever. But you only need to watch this year’s crop of Super Bowl commercials to know that the way women are portrayed in advertising and the media still has a long way to go.

Things have changed though. More recent examples of marketing messages to women have changed so drastically that Ad Age even dedicated its cover to this story back in September, and often include themes of empowerment, strength and resilience.