How Major Brands Approached International Women’s Day


How Major Brands Approached International Women’s DayBrian Gefter, Provacateur Holdings  

Every holiday is a chance for companies to get a marketing boost, while also highlighting issues that are important to them. Many firms have taken advantage of International Women’s Day to display the work their pursuing in gender equality. Here are some examples of advertising campaigns that have been launched in the context of International Women’s Day this year: 


Last week, the food and beverage giant announced its partnership with the non-profit organisation CARE, with a grant of $18.2 million to support women in the agricultural sector as a part of the ‘She Feeds the World’ campaign. PepsiCo’s philanthropic arm, the PepsiCo Foundation, will work with CARE to provide 5 million female farmers and their families with economic support and education to help them improve crop yields, incomes and access to nutrition locally. PepsiCo and CARE will also be launching a campaign called ‘Closing the Crop Gap’, which provides women around the world a platform to share stories about the challenges they face in the agricultural industry. 


In an attempt to own up to and rectify mistakes of its past sexist campaigns, Budweiser has published three ads from the 1950s and 1960s in juxtaposition with updated versions that ran in major publications on International Women’s Day. The vintage ad which reads “It’s a fact: Budweiser has delighted more husbands than any other brew ever known” was presented alongside the updated version that reads, “It’s a fact: Budweiser can be enjoyed by everyone, everywhere”. The company has partnered with the Association of Advertisers in their #SeeHer initiative, which aims to improve how women are portrayed in advertising. 


Vodafone will be helping Bright Sky, an app that fights against violence against women, launch its app in other European countries.The app, which helps to identify and support victims of domestic abuse and violence, already been downloaded over 10,000 times in the UK. 


In 2015, Mattel, the makers of Barbie, started a campaign called ‘Shero’. This International Women’s Day, Mattel has released Barbie versions of inspiring high-profile women such as Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar and British activist Adwoa Aboah, as a continuation of the campaign. “The Barbie brand believes girls should never know a world, job, or dream women haven’t conquered”, said Lisa McKnight, Barbie’s Senior Vice President and General Manager. 

Dove Chocolate

Dove, owned by Mars, is investing $1 million into the non-profit CARE to develop a marketplace for women in the Ivory Coast, where women can sell different items, including food, fabric and soap. The company’s interest in helping the country comes from the fact that Dove sources its cocoa from the Ivory Coast. 


PayPal has taken on the ‘Balance for Better’ theme of this year’s International Women’s Day by promoting its ‘Balance for Better’ initiative by making a video that features five businesswomen discussing how to create a more balanced workplace. In the video, Lisa Edwards, the senior vice-president of Benefit Cosmetics says, “I feel like I work double as hard as some of my male counterparts that continue to move up the ranks.”

About the Author: Brian Gefter is an event planner and marketer.

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