Happy International Women’s Day!

On the 8th of March of every year, countries around the globe celebrate International Women’s Day. It is the day where women’s achievements from fields ranging from political to economical are celebrated and honored.

Marketers also see this as an opportunity for them to put their brands out there. Whether is it to increase their brand awareness or boost their public image by coming up with campaigns that help to display their corporate social awareness. This is an opportunity that is perfect for them to both celebrate the achievements of women and turn it into profits.

Today we will be looking at some of the most creative and engaging International Women’s Day campaigns around the world, from social media marketing campaigns to display advertising campaigns.

Campaign #1: Women’s Aid, “Look at Me”

The first campaign that we are looking at is an award winning marketing campaign from Women’s Aid that has won multiple awards and has achieved an astonishing global reach of 326.9 million people.

The project was an interactive outdoor billboard campaign. Women’s Aid worked together with creative agency, WCRS and Ocean Outdoor to craft this campaign.

Women’s Aid displayed their billboard screen in public areas with high crowd volume in the United Kingdom such as Canary Wharf and Birmingham Bullring. On the billboard is the image of a woman who has been battered and badly bruised. The billboard was an interactive one. As people pass by the billboard and ignore it, the billboard would remain the same. However, if people were to stop by the billboard and look at it, the bruises on the woman’s face would start to fade and eventually completely heal.

Image result for blind eye women's aid
Women Aid’s Look at Me Campaign

Women’s Aid cleverly adopted facial-recognition to execute the campaign. They used cameras that could help detect when someone was looking at the billboard screen which would prompt the change in the advertisement display. The display was programmed in such a way that the more number of people looked at it, the quicker the face would change to show a fully healed one.

The campaign’s message was simple and delivered excellently. Its message was clear, to not turn a blind eye to domestic violence. If you can see it, you can make a difference and change it. When combined with experimental and innovative advertising technology, Women’s Aid successfully propelled the campaign into virality. Videos of the campaign were widespread throughout the internet and its success can be seen with how much reach it has achieved. By gaining such reach, Women’s Aid helped bring to light the severity and importance of reaching out and helping women who are suffering from domestic abuse.

Campaign #2: Dove, “Real Beauty”

This is one of the most famous earlier International Women’s Day campaigns. In 2004, Unilever promoted International Women’s Day with their personal care brand, Dove. The campaign was about women’s perception of themselves compared to a stranger’s, highlighting the gap in perception.

In this campaign, Unilever teamed up with an FBI-trained forensic artist, Gil Zamora. The women in this campaign were subjected to two different blind sketches from the forensic artist. One is a sketch of themselves based on their own description of how they looked and another is a sketch based on the description of another person’s description of them.

The campaign showed the resulting sketches, with the women’s own description of themselves being wrongfully low, resulting in a worse looking sketch compared to that of another person’s description of them.

This campaign is very well aligned with Dove’s brand objective of wanting to be seen as a brand that helps to liberate women from having to live uncomfortably based on societal beauty standards. Dove also has other campaigns that drives this message across, with campaigns like #MyBeautyMySay.

Creating an incredibly emotion evoking campaign is certainly a great way to help Dove spread their brand’s message and create a lasting impression of the brand identity. This campaign was effective as seen from how the video, which was created in 2004 way before YouTube’s inception, has 68 million views. The video still gets shared in social media to this day and are shown in marketing classes in colleges.

Campaign #3: PayPal, “#BalanceForBetter”

A more recent International Women’s Day campaign is PayPal’s campaign titled “#BalanceForBetter”.

For the campaign, PayPal released a video that features businesswomen in leadership roles talking about ideas and their experiences with trying to bring gender balance in the workforce. The video was fully produced by a wholly women team. In the video’s introduction, statistics on the gender imbalance in terms of promotion opportunities and earning power are flashed on the screen, bringing awareness to the viewer immediately from the start.

After which, the remainder of the video is a good four minutes of a discussion between PayPal’s executive vice-president for chief business affairs, Louise Pentland and a panel of business leaders including Lisa Edwards and Heidi Zak. Themes that were discussed ranged from, risk-taking, fundraising and diversity. All of which are factors that women entrepreneurs have to face challenges in when they venture into a business.

On top of the video, PayPal also supported female-run businesses by making a $2 donation to causes that support women for every purchase at select retailers. This campaign was run from 8th March to 23rd of March of 2019. To back up their support for women, PayPal has also displayed full pay equity in terms of salary around the world for both men and women.

This campaign is successful as it is an engaging and relatable video that highlights the struggles that were faced by businesswomen who made it big. All of which helps to create awareness to the greater issues faced by women and also help PayPal’s image of being a socially responsible company that places emphasis on tackling such issues.

Campaign #4: Barbie, “Close The Dream Gap”

Barbie’s campaign in 2018 is based off a research that shows that starting from age 5, many girls start to form and nurture self-limiting beliefs that they are not as capable or as smart as boys. This in turn molds the belief in them that their gender limits them to doing certain things and that they aren’t capable of being anything they want to be. The Dream Gap Project was launched by Barbie in 2018 to help deal with this belief.

Through this project, Barbie seeks to provide the tools and resources girls need to pursue these dreams and create a continued belief in themselves. The company has partnered with crowdfunding site GoFundMe to gain additional funding for helping to level the playing field for girls. They raise $250,000 which went into three charities aimed at helping girls.

As part of this initiative, Barbie has also created dolls of inspirational women around the world from different fields from: para-athletes, Olympic champions to journalists. The main objective of the campaign is aligned with Barbie’s senior vice president, Lisa McKnight’s message of “Girls should never know a world, job, or dream women haven’t conquered”.

This campaign is a highly effective one as Barbie successfully integrated their campaigns into their own line of products by creating figures that serves as inspiration to girls around the world. The meaning and impact of this campaign cannot be understated due to how widely popular Barbie is among young girls around the world. Having such a strong message allows Barbie to strengthen their identity as a company that wants to empower and create a change in young girls around the world. This is certainly one of the more powerful campaigns we’ve seen.


With the multitude of ways that we see brands engaging in International Women’s Day marketing, we hope you are inspired to come up with something just as empowering and impactful.

MarketingGuru would like to wish all the amazing women in our company and around the world a Happy International Women’s Day. We hope these campaigns are able to inspire you with coming up with a meaningful campaign as well!