It’s a business thing, not a women thing

We all know the stats — women account for a massive 76% control of consumer spending (across all sectors) and yet 70% of women say that advertising is irrelevant and not for them.

How can this be? Something is not adding up in ad land.

Thursday night we played host to an evening exploring a couple of projects that are shining stars and leading the way in how we should be marketing to women.

Jennie Price, CEO of Sport England took us through the journey to a campaign that is certainly making a difference (and one we’re rather proud!) — This Girl Can. She introduced the thought that the unifying element from her varied target audience was an aspirational attitude. It was identifying this and clearing away the thought of connecting through physical aesthetics that paved the way for such an effective and motivating campaign.

Rebecca Swift, Director of Creative planning at Getty images took up the thread — taking us through the Lean In Collection aim and progress one year on — with some brilliant comparatives of best selling images from 2007 and from today. Stock images provide an inarguable bell-weather to reflect what images really are being used in the market. It is telling that whilst the brilliant leaps forward of the Lean In collection is paying dividends showing massive growth since launch — and yet the best selling image remains a woman sat alone in business suit, laptop on floor, arms in air, celebrating… we’re not sure what.

What is clear is that we are at a point of massive change and the role of women needs addressing on a public scale. Whether it’s the inaugural Cannes Glass Lion and ‘See it, Be it’ project, to my own Creative Equals initiative and the approaching 3% conference London event — there is a hunger not only from brands but from female consumers and professionals to find a new language and aesthetic to finally start some meaningful conversations.

At FCB we believe in enabling behavioural change — what’s different is that in this instance it’s the brand and agency thinking that needs to change. And as This Girl Can has shown when you get that right then reaction is amazing.

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