Thursday, 9 July 2015

Facebook puts women first

Facebook has redesigned its logo so that the silhouette of the woman is no longer behind that of the man.

Facebook's Caitlin Winner has admitted that the old design positioned women 'quite literally in the shadow of the man', so this seems an overdue move for a brand which has an increasingly prominent female user base.

It's part of the growing trend of marketing 'to women', which is no surprise given a study as far back as 2013 cited 57% of women held the purchasing power in their household, yet there are plenty of organisations driven by social equality rather than just profit.

The Sport England (a former client) campaign 'This Girl Can' has received widespread praise for its attempt to increase female participation in sport, while the recent success of the England Women's Football team (reaching the semi final) was part of a global phenomenon which saw Fox achieve  $40m in ad revenue for hosting a tournament which had limited coverage beforehand.

(Courtesy of Flickr, Liga Utama)

Women's sport and marketing clearly pays, even if sponsors stumble into it.

But there's still a long way to go for brands, even those supposedly on the side of women, as demonstrated by the FA's ill advised 'partners and mothers' tweet. Marina Hyde gets that right here.

The point about the women's World Cup is that it should mark a new dawn of modern marketing looking at working with women outside of traditional 'roles' such as motherhood or career. The idea that hopes, dreams and aspirations can be accessible to all genders - who would have thought it?!

And it's laughable that this is even a thing. It is 2015 for god's sake. But my wife tells me we're not there yet, so I believe her. And not because she is a 'wife' but because she is refreshingly honest and cynical with her marketing interactions, she engages when she wants and it's rarely within the confides of her domestic life but through hobbies, fitness and friends.

The first social wave of brand marketing was owned by the mummy blogger, and a good job they did, making fortunes for founders of channels such as Mumsnet.

But this new wave feels fresher, more unpredictable. Is it about fitness? Arguable, but no, because that plays to difficult audiences, as Protein World famously found out.

I'm a man so I don't have the answer, but I deal with enough intelligent female clients, marketers and creatives every day to get a sense that the answer might be individualism, and that this has its roots in social media.

It's an important phase and although I expect more than a few mistakes on the way, let's hope it inspires some great PR campaigns too.

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