5 Best Campaigns this International Women’s Day

This International Women’s Day we’re looking at the brands that have inspired us with empowering campaigns.

For some brands, days which raise awareness for a social cause present just another opportunity to market their product. And we’ve seen plenty accused of ‘faux feminism’ for trying to push an advertising message which is at odds with their business practices or culture.

Consumers are savvier than ever when it comes to the social responsibilities of the brands we buy from, so it’s no surprise that using International Women’s Day to push a promotion or offer will be met with cynicism.

So here are the brands we think are getting it right. Matching their advertising message with action and making an impact on the women who make up their audience. We asked the women at Red Hot Penny for their thoughts:

Nike – Dream Crazier

Following conversation around their Just Do It campaign starring Colin Kaepernick, Nike have released a similarly striking video titled ‘Dream Crazier’.

Nike say the video “shines a spotlight on female athletes who have broken barriers, brought people together through their performance and inspired generations of athletes to chase after their dreams.”

Narrated by Serena Williams, ‘Dream Crazier’ features footage of female athletes, including Caster Semenya and Kathrine Switzer, who have achieved success despite facing criticism and adversity.

Nike have prioritised celebrating the athletes’ achievements over pushing product – we even see a flash of the adidas logo in one of the clips they’ve included – so it feels genuine.

Nicole, our Paid executive, said: “It’s a very emotive campaign, showing actual footage from events that have caused women to receive backlash. I like it because I think we’ve all experienced times when we’ve been called crazy for acting certain ways and that behaviour has been attributed to being a woman.”

Mothercare – #bodyproudmums

Mothercare are one highstreet brand that’s struggled recently. So their latest online campaign is a positive step forward in talking to their audience and engaging with them beyond product.

Body Proud Mums stars 10 women who share their own stories of pregnancy and discuss how their bodies have changed. It features imagery of the women and their babies with no digital touch-ups or enhancement.

Mothercare works closely with charities NCT and PANDAS, and this campaign reinforces their efforts to support new mums with links to community events for parents which are hosted in-stores.

Red Hot Penny Digital Designer, Laura, said “I especially like the selection of Sophie Mayanne as the photographer as her pledge to never digitally manipulate skin in her work fits perfectly with this powerful message and the celebration of #bodyproudmums.”

A mum holding her baby as part of mothercare's body proud mums campaign

Warehouse – I Define Me

Warehouse have teamed up with Rosa, a UK-wide fund dedicated to women and girls, to celebrate International Women’s Day.

They asked 5 women including designer Esme Young, CEO Nafisa Bakkar and campaigner Bryony Gordon, to share their defining stories. The landing page includes a video plus short profiles and interviews with each of the women.

There’s also a nod to the women who’ve worked on the project at the end of the landing page, which gives us a nice behind-the-scenes look and makes it relatable.

Alongside the campaign, Warehouse are hosting a panel discussion and selling t-shirts with 100% of sales going to Rosa.

Our Organic Executive, Jodie, likes Warehouse’s message: “I love that it’s telling women to be unapologetically themselves and not change that for anyone. It’s encouraging to see women who have been successful without bending to pressure from other people.”

Warehouse International Womens Day campaign showing influencers wearing the I define me t-shirt

Harlequins Rugby – The Game Changer

After last year’s record-breaking attendance at a women’s Club rugby match, Harlequins are attempting to break the record again with their fixture against Gloucester Hartpury on 30th March.

Their Game Changer campaign is putting a spotlight on the women that make up the rugby team, whose full-time jobs include firefighting, teaching and data analysis.

Harlequins want to encourage fans to attend an event ‘Where Heroes Make History’ and draw support from the wider club to raise the profile of women’s club rugby in the UK.

PayPal – #BalanceforBetter

This year’s International Women’s Day theme is Balance for Better – aiming to forge a more gender balanced world and raise awareness against bias.

PayPal support this theme in their video which features female business leaders having a discussion on the ways we can bring gender balance to the workplace. Entrepreneurs including Benefit’s Lisa Edwards describe their experiences of being a woman in business and offer advice for women looking to grow their own business.

The video was shot by an all-female crew and production team, and the landing page brings attention to some of the female-led brands which are shaping the future of retail.

Throughout March, PayPal pledge to donate to charities helping women around the world when customers use PayPal to pay for purchases in select retailers run by female CEOs.

Content Manager Emma said: “It’s really encouraging to see female business leaders talking about their experiences and their advice is definitely something I’ll take into my professional life. I also like the way PayPal are shining a light on some female-led brands and the sentiment is really ingrained in PayPal’s culture with things like their Unity Program.”

You can see what events and activities are happening near you, plus get helpful resources to plan your own event over on the International Women’s Day website.

Or, if you need help planning your own search campaign, get in touch.

Woman posing for the #BalanceforBetter campaign International Women's Day

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