“FEMVERTISING” is an advertising strategy that is used by businesses to promote goods and services using pro-women messages. This is done to empower women and girls by encouraging gender equality, while disregarding traditional stereotypes of women. Women empowerment has gained popularity in recent years, especially on the scenes of social media. Femvertising is no stranger to certain businesses, as the sales of their products rely on this strategy. I am a firm believer in advocacy for women’s rights and empowerment, but quite frankly, I do not appreciate substance-lacking exploitative advertising strategies.
You should not hijack a meaningful movement just to gain a few coins. The brand Dove had a campaign on #SpeakBeautiful; an advertisement project that shared pictures of women before and after they were edited in efforts to help women and girls with body-image issues. The brand Covergirl has its #GirlsCan campaign that showcases how the possibilities are endless with what girls can achieve. These brands/businesses alongside many others promote some form of women empowerment through the use of their products and surely enough, some of these advertisements and business models would make one’s eyes teary because of the messages behind them. Sadly, that’s all they do. They make us tear up, but how do they really help women? Do these businesses donate or give back to disadvantaged women? Do the owners or administration practise their girl-power slogans in real life? Or, is it all simply a facade?
Don’t get me wrong, some businesses utilise femvertising because they genuinely want to empower women and girls through the use of their business models. However, on the same side of the coin, some businesses use this as a means to simply gain a profit through a “trendy” movement. They are not partners of women empowerment, they are merely allies of click-bait marketing strategies camouflaged as otherwise. Women have already been exploited for centuries. Now, our “allies” are trying to gain off of the very movements that were created to help us fight against such exploitations and oppression, to begin with. Sigh.
While femvertising can be a good business strategy, is it also a good advocacy strategy? At the end of the day, who benefits more from Femvertising? Is it really the oppressed woman who cannot afford to buy the very product that is being advertised because she is underpaid? Or, is it the business entities who benefit from the advertisements that reflect the oppressive state of the said woman? Advocacy and activism should not stop at slogans and hashtags. These slogans are not really helping real women facing real situations of oppressions. There is much more work left to be done.