FEMINIST FRIDAY: New Balance, Puma & Moroccan Oil Get In #GirlPower Mode With New Campaigns

Welcome to another Feminist Friday! That time of the week where we gather a handful of videos we are crushing on right now, videos that all speak to feminism, female empowerment, intersectionality, and disrupting gender norms. This week we’re getting our sporty spice on with 3 new advertising campaigns from major brands that are promoting women in sports as well as women in gaming.

First up is New Balance’s campaign centered around a music video called ‘Start a Riot’. According to Marketing Dive, this campaign is meant to “celebrate the connection between music and running culture and strives to inspire women to push boundaries and meet their goals.” Given how long the advertising industry has been built upon sexualizing and objectifying women, not to mention ignoring their agency or accomplishments, it’s good to see major brands recognizing the importance of sending a positive message.

The video features a song from female-led band Beginners x Night Panda called “Start a Riot” and four New Balance female runners, including Lisanne de Witte, a sprinter form the Netherlands; Stephanie Garcia, a steeplechase athlete from the U.S.; Cory McGee, U.S. middle distance runner; and, Bev Ramos, a middle/long distance runner from Puerto Rico. The campaign was created by a female director (Lauren Sick) and all-female creative team at VMLY&R to promote the Fresh Foam cushioning platform that showcases the brand’s data-driven technology.

The second video comes from Puma, who have teamed up with Unanimous Games to launch FETE, which stands for Female Empowerment Through Esports. The goal is to empower and support women in Esports and gaming, traditionally a very male-dominated arena. You might be familiar with the Gamergate scandal from a few years ago which targeted female game developers and gamers, where male gamers harassed and threatened them to the point where one prominent women, Anita Sarkessian, had to call the FBI because her personal and private information was shared online.

The move to promote and support women in the esports world is necessary and Puma is sending a huge statement by putting money and weight behind these women. The campaign kicked off with an invite-only launch event in NYC on January 31st, hosted by top gaming influencer Atomic Mari, which saw top industry insiders, women in tech, entertainment and celebrity gaming influencers come together for this cause.

According to Respect Mag, women represent close to fifty-percent (50%) of the gaming and eSports marketplace; of an industry that is valued at $20B globally, so it’s about time we start to see cultural change around gender perception in this world.

“The underrepresentation of women in gaming and esports is a critical barrier to the growth of the industry. PUMA is excited to partner with Unanimous Games to listen to the experiences of female gamers, and to begin to address some ways we can overcome those barriers together,” said said Matt Shaw, Team Head of Digital Marketing at PUMA. Game on!

The final video this weeks comes from Moroccan Oil, who teamed up with the Women’s Tennis Association for a really cool video series called ‘Inspired’. As each video is released, fans will have the chance to get familiar with an athlete who shares her story and philanthropic initiative, and its impact.

“Women have always been the inspiration behind our beauty products, so what better way to empower other women across the globe than by partnering with the extraordinary athletes of the WTA, each being able to share their remarkable stories and passions through our INSPIRED BY WOMEN platform,” says Carmen Tal, Co-founder of Moroccanoil.

The Inspired By Women platform was originally created in 2014 and is still going strong today. The first video in this series features Madison Keys and follows her work with FearlesslyGIRL, a nonprofit that fights bullying and encourages kindness. 

“Madison Keys is someone that can be an inspiration to all of us, and I love Madison’s vision of changing the world one girl at a time by encouraging a kinder and more supportive environment amongst young girls,” Carmen Tal says.

“As we and many brands become more lifestyle focused, we wanted to diversify the narratives of the WTA player. The WTA’s partnership with Moroccanoil demonstrates a unique off-court perspective and allows players to shine in a more modern, dynamic way,” says WTA President Micky Lawler.

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