In the words of Beyoncé, “Who run the world? Girls.” For nearly 25 years, America has been over run by a wave of feminism. Women have moved from the household to the workplace. Although it’s not perfect, there have been huge strides in creating equality for women throughout the work field. However, although women may be feeling more confident at work, statistics show that they are feeling less confident in their bodies. What could be making women feel so tainted while in the wake of a feminist movement?
A large part of this is due to advertising. The lyrics in a currently popular song, “All About That Bass”, say, “I see the magazine workin’ that Photoshop.” Today, ads are packed with filters and tons of Photoshop editing. I would argue that no one has shown this better than the Dove Evolution video. So why would a company like Dove who sells skin care, hair care, and body cleansers be so concerned with Photoshop in advertising? Dove realizes that women want to feel beautiful. In more recent years, Dove has been known as a feminist brand because their mission is to show women the power of self-esteem and real beauty.
This trend in advertising has become better know as “fem-vertising.” An Advertising Week panel of industry leaders gathered in New York on October 2, 2014 to discuss “Fem-vertising: Women Demand More From Brands.” There, they defined the trend as “advertising that employs pro-female talent, messages and imagery to empower women and girls.” Fem-vertising has shown to be highly effective in generating sales. An article on AdWeek said “Dove sales jumped from $2.5 billion to $4 billion since the launch of its Campaign for Real Beauty.” This is a very smart move for brands because women control up to 85% of household purchase decisions. Fem-vertising is not only increasing sales but also building self-esteem in women of all ages. I would say that is a win for the advertiser, the brand, and the consumer.