September 4, 2018
The #MeToo movement launched late last year after allegations of sexual harassment and assault in the entertainment industry began to surface. The movement has empowered victims of harassment and assault to share their stories without fear of retaliation. It has also put a national spotlight on the challenges that many women face in their daily lives.
This powerful movement has impacted the marketing and advertising industry, too. Many brands are now attempting to engage with newly empowered female consumers by incorporating feminist themes into their campaigns. “Femvertising” as it is often called is an effective strategy that can help brands build relationships with strong and independent female consumers. But, this strategy must be implemented in the right way in order to generate the results your brand desires. Follow these do’s and don’ts of femvertising:
Do: Practice What You Preach
It’s imperative to practice what you preach when it comes to femvertising. Brands will not create an authentic connection with their female consumers if they are talking the talk but not walking the walk. For example, how many women are currently in leadership positions within your organization? If there aren’t any women at the top of your organization, it seems inauthentic to preach about gender equality and female empowerment. How is your company making a difference when it comes to these issues? If your company is not involved with women’s rights organizations, it doesn’t make sense to incorporate feminist themes into your campaign.
Today’s consumers are incredibly savvy, so they will quickly find out if a brand that is using femvertising is not practicing what they preach. If you’re not already practicing what you preach, it’s a good idea to start with a commitment to donate a percentage of proceeds to a well-known organization. Doing this communicates to consumers that you are aware you have not done enough in the past, but you are ready to put in the work now.
Don’t: Rush Into Femvertising Unprepared
It’s important for marketers to understand what they’re getting their brand into by taking a stand on this social issue. It doesn’t matter how well the campaign is executed–some consumers will not agree with your message. Some of the backlash could come from your target audience, but it’s likely that a lot of the negative feedback will come from people who wouldn’t buy your products or services anyways. Either way, brands must be prepared to handle the backlash. If you put out a message of female empowerment, stand by it even some people are not happy about your brand joining the conversation.
Marketers should also prepare to monitor social conversations mentioning their brand so they can see how their target audience is responding. Use the feedback from these consumers to improve upon your next femvertising campaign.
Do: Keep the Conversation Going After the Campaign is Over
Don’t let the conversation surrounding equality and female empowerment die off just because the campaign has run its course. Keep the conversation going so your female consumers know that you are actually committed to the cause and not trying to take advantage of the #MeToo movement. Figure out other ways to incorporate this theme into campaigns in the future. There are a lot of brands that are incorporating feminist themes into their marketing campaigns right now, so work with your team to come up with unique ways to empower and engage with female consumers.
If you don’t plan on launching another massive multi-channel campaign in the near future, try to keep the conversation going with female consumers solely on social media. If you truly want to be known as a brand that believes in gender equality, the conversation can’t stop once the campaign is over.
Don’t: Be Afraid to Take the Brand in a New Direction
Many marketers assume that femvertising is not right for their brand if the brand has never promoted this message in the past. However, that’s not necessarily the case. It’s true that brands can come off as disingenuous if they’ve never launched campaigns with similar messaging before. But, it is possible for marketers to take their brand in a new direction without coming off as insincere.
One example of a brand that seamlessly entered into femvertising is Special K. For years, Special K marketed itself as a healthy cereal that would help women lose weight and transform their bodies. One campaign even promised consumers that they would drop down at least one size after two weeks of eating Special K. But then, the brand decided to go in a different direction. Special K campaigns began to encourage women to accept and appreciate their bodies instead of fixating on perfecting them. Some people were confused by the sudden change in messaging, but eventually, female consumers began to embrace the new messaging.
Do: Get Women Involved in the Creative Process
Femvertising is about engaging with female consumers, and no one knows how to do this better than other females. Brands should not make the mistake of launching a femvertising campaign that was designed and implemented solely by men. It doesn’t matter how experienced or creative the men are–they can’t speak to women in the same way that other women can. Get women involved in every step of the creative process so you can ensure that the campaign speaks in a relatable voice, touches on important issues, and resonates with female consumers.
Are you interested in launching a unique femvertising campaign to engage with female consumers in your target audience? If so, contact the marketing experts at Factory 360 as soon as possible. Let our team of experienced marketing professionals plan and implement an effective and authentic marketing campaign to reach females in your target audience.