In our society “like a girl” has been used to insult the way someone throws, runs or fights. It means someone is too slow or too weak. Always set out to change that. In their #LikeAGirl campaign, the company shows how young women and men interpret the phrase, and why they think it needs to change.
The best thing about this campaign is the way Always targeted so many different audiences to achieve the largest impact. When coming up with the #LikeAGirl idea, the goal was to help girls that are going through puberty feel more confident in their womanhood. In a time where girls are naturally feeling awkward and different because of the changes in their bodies, the messages they receive from their parents or their coaches or their peers that being a girl is somehow inferior to being a boy only hurt their confidence and lead to the self image issues that we see in adult women every day. This campaign, through the use of girls ages 10 through about 18, shows young women how being a girl can mean whatever you want it to mean. By using girls who are slightly older than the average girl going through puberty, it gives the younger girls someone to look up to. When in the vulnerable state while going through puberty, it is much easier to follow a role model than to try and figure out everything on your own, and Always utilized that fact very well.
Aside from young girls, Always also targeted young women ages 18-24. This is another time in a woman’s life when they may feel put down because of their image or the way they live their life. Mostly this is because, traditionally, this is when a woman “should be finding a husband” (which is an issue in and of itself, but we’ll save that for another day).This pressure from society makes young women feel their inferiority to men yet again. The constant nagging to “be prettier,” or “be nicer,” or even to “not come on as strong” makes women feel like less powerful individuals. This campaign shows the transformation of a few of the girls into thinking that doing things “like a girl” can mean doing things like a badass. By showing this, Always is showing these young women that just because they are women, doesn’t mean they are “less.” They are showing that its okay to embrace yourself for who you are as a woman.
I think one of the best target markets that Always reached though, were men. By airing their first campaign video (above) during the Superbowl, this ad reached 81.3% of all men in the US, and a majority of those men were ages 18-45. This group is also the type that usually has the “men should be men” mind set where they think that masculinity equates to power and strength and that women do not have these qualities. By including the section with the young boy talking about his sister in the video, I think that this helped better get the message across to this demographic. These types of men are very protective about their family members, and by relating “like a girl” to an insult towards their sister or mother, they are able to understand the impact it might have on other women and girls.
Aside from the video above, Always also released the Unstoppable video, Quarterback Karlie Harman’s story, and are now lobbying for more powerful female representation in emoji’s. Hundreds of thousands of hashtags have been used since the commercial first aired, and are still being shared today. Gender equality is an issue that we should never stop fighting for. So ladies, let’s get out there and run #LikeAGirl, throw #LikeAGirl, and tweet #LikeAGirl because you are a girl and you rock.