Procter & Gamble, one of the world’s highest-spending advertisers, has released an ad ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8, in its latest gender equality initiative.
The “#WeSeeEqual” ad, made up of a montage of scenes showing men, women and children in everyday situations, is interspersed with text, such as “Hugs don’t care who give them,” and “Equations don’t care who solve them.” It finishes with a woman telling a younger co-worker “Do it,” with the line “Equal pay doesn’t care who demands it.”
The spot, made by agency Badger & Winters, is set to rock band 4 Non Blondes’ song “What’s Up,” which includes the lyrics: “Twenty-five years and my life is still, trying to get that great big hill of hope, for a destination. I realized quickly when I knew I should, that the world is made up of this brotherhood of man.”
P&G launched its first annual citizenship report in 2016, outlining its aspirations to build “a world free from gender bias,” including initiatives such as “Share the Load” for its Ariel laundry brand in India, where it claims that 70 percent of men think household chores are women’s work.
At last year’s International Women’s Day, P&G hosted a panel discussion on unconscious bias, where chief brand officer Marc Pritchard stated: “What you have to do is make it conscious…We can’t gloss over it. You’ve got to dig a little deeper if you’re going to address it.”
Rival consumer goods company Unilever has also launched initiatives to tackle sexism. Its “#Unstereotype” campaign started in June 2016, aiming to make sure its brands, which include Axe deodorant and Dove soap, avoid stereotypes in advertising. Unilever also used the World Economic Forum in Davos in January to urge senior leaders to challenge gender bias at work.