Last week, the world, along with brands, celebrated women's day on March 8. Here, Sana Khadeja lists her top five favourite ads from 2022, in lieu of women's day, which were created for women's day and/or to push forward a general message of equality and female empowerment.
Along with encouraging audiences to educate girls, Lifebuoy's #BetiParhaoMazbootBanao campaign reinstates that girls can pursue their dreams and do anything that boys can.
A young girl with vigour rehearses a poem in class but her classmates laugh at her because the poem is from a boy's perspective ("Mein chota sa aik larka hoon, par kaam karoon ga baray baray"). At home, the frustrated girl tells her mother she does not want to recite the poem - at an upcoming school event - anymore because it's for boys and people will make fun of her. The day of the school event, the mother gives her a piece of paper with the poem reworded - the girl joyously and passionately recites it on stage ("Mein choti si aik larki hoon par kaam karoon gee baray baray... mein char sakti hoon paharon pe"), showcasing that girls are just as capable of reaching great heights and conquering their dreams.
"Doctor Bahu": Not only will your kitchen be immaculate but you will get free consultations for the rest of your life.
Well, Shan Foods does not agree. Shan's seamless depiction of breaking the bias tells an inspirational story, whereby a medical oath taken by a "doctor bahu" is upheld by the support of her mother-in-law. The ad lives up to it’s hashtag #OathforHer
Agency: BBDO Pakistan
L'Oréal have been saying this for a long time and reiterates it this time with Iqra Aziz: “We are worth it”
L'Oréal educates their digital audience on how to put a stop to harassment with its 5D defense system. The campaign's digital posts are interactive, thought-provoking and inspire action. Along with this, the company released a DVC in which Aziz looks directly into the viewers' eyes and lists her achievements, despite facing hurdles, and puts her foot down against anything remotely discriminatory intolerable; and encourages fellow women to listen to the only voice that matters: their own.
L'Oréal has a history of choosing women with strong personalities and the ironclad will to accomplish, and this was yet another representation.
Agency: Orientm McCann
A brand that has always been a keen contributor to women’s rights. Their new ad is a breath of fresh air when it comes to sanitary napkin advertisements in Pakistan: #JustBreathe – take a break. You deserve it. Unlike other ads where women sprint and run hoops on their time of the month, Butterfly tells its female customers to take a step back and relax in life.
The constant pressure of work and the heavy weight of the expectations of society anchors down even the hardest workers. This ad is a reminder for these women to breathe, and take some time for their own selves. Periods are already an unpleasant journey, so it was quite refreshing to see an ad that promotes warmth and rest in association with periods.
Agency: East River
Some questions for women: ever been to an interview where your marital status was inquired? Had a boss complain over an extended maternity leave? Ever had the judging eyes of seniors hover, upon learning that you have children? These are the stereotypes working women have to deal with all over the world. But Asian women get the even short[er] end of the stick.
The Engro ad starts with Zahid Ahmed pointing out the classic double standards of society, where on the one hand it claims equality in the working sphere, and on the other hand the same claim is laden with boilerplate excuses to diminish the value of women's professional input.
An ad that makes you reflect, and hopefully correct. The sort of ad that echoes in the ears of the audience for a long time, impacting behavior and changing perspectives.
Agency: Ogilvy Pakistan
Sana Khadeja is a content writer and is actively engaged in discourse regarding animal rights, feminism, and various other social issues.