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Does “Girls” Advertising Detract
From Girls’ Empowerment?

 


August 21st New York City Salon - RSVP Now

 
Thanks to the tireless work of a number of organizations and advocates, girls and their empowerment have become focal points for development agencies, multilateral global discourse, and related advocacy and programming. Girls’ voices, including those of strong role models such as Malala, have begun to be listened to in policy discussions where major decisions are made.

The private sector has joined the call, and social media and new technology enable viral campaigns to quickly reach an ever more savvy public at large scale. “Girls are hot right now,” commented one marketing professional. Ads such as Always’ “Like a Girl,” Verizon’s “Inspire her Mind,” and Pantene’s “Stop Saying Sorry” are branded campaigns that champion girls’ and women’s social issue.

Advertisers are shifting tactics and letting the public “know they care” according to the rise of 'sadvertising': Why social good marketing works.  So it's out with the obvious sales pitch and in with tear-jerking or heartwarming storytelling around an issue people feel passionate about.”

But there are mixed feelings about what these branded media campaigns accomplish for girls and women, and whether their commercially driven motivations are actually helping the cause:
  • Do these kinds of ads distract attention from the deeper, structural causes of gender discrimination? Are they too shallow to make a difference? Does it matter if the motivation behind a campaign is brand awareness rather than advocacy and political change?
  • Do branded media campaigns produce tangible behavior changes, or are they more likely to contribute to brand awareness and increased sales? Can they effectively do both? How and when?
  • How should branded media campaigns be measured to determine whether they are having the desired impact at the level of social and behavioral change? Is it enough to measure ‘hits’ and ‘likes’ and ‘eyeballs’? If not, what should we be measuring?
  • Will an overload of “girls” advertising detract from the wider movement to support girls’ rights and empowerment by trivializing the topic or wearing people out with ‘girl fatigue’? Or is mainstreaming girls and empowerment through commercial branding a new and positive way to engage the next generation and to alter deep-seated societal attitudes, perceptions, behaviors and practices around gender?
Please RSVP now to join Regarding Humanity and Technology Salon NYC for a lively discussion! Please arrive early to get a good seat. Light breakfast and coffee will be served courtesy of the amazing team at ThoughtWorks.
 
Girls Empowerment and Brand Campaigns
August Technology Salon NYC
Thursday, August 21st, 2014
9:00-11:00 am
ThoughtWorks
99 Madison Ave, 15th Floor (map)
New York, NY 10016

We’ll have hot coffee and a light breakfast. Seating is limited, so be sure to RSVP quickly to be confirmed for attendance. Once we reach our 30-person capacity there will be a waiting list.

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About the Technology Salon


The Technology Salonâ„¢ is an intimate, informal, and in person, discussion between information and communication technology experts and international development professionals, with a focus on both:
  • technology's impact on donor-sponsored technical assistance delivery, and
  • private enterprise driven economic development, facilitated by technology.
Our meetings are lively conversations, not boring presentations. Attendance is capped at 30 people - and frank participation with ideas, opinions, and predictions is actively encouraged. 

It's also a great opportunity to meet others motivated to employ technology to solve vexing development problems. Join us today!
 
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