And so to International Women’s Day – where else? – for this year’s “Embrace Equity” theme. While many brands are accused of simply jumping on the bandwagon to show how much they care, others manage to get the balance right.
One case in point is car giant Ford, which is celebrating the significant role that women have played in the development of the modern automobile by launching a new video, “The Ford Explorer Men’s Only Edition” with a difference.
The video initially appears to be a traditional car ad, showcasing a new Ford Explorer. Narrator Bryan Cranston then explains the “Ford Explorer Men’s Only Edition” is a completely reimagined vehicle without many of the essential features developed by women, including heaters, windscreen wipers, indicators, brake lights, and GPS.
To support the campaign throughout the month, Ford will highlight the achievements and contributions of female innovators of the past and present on Ford.com and across the company’s social media accounts.
Some of these trailblazing women include Hedy Lamarr, innovator of the communication system used in cellular technology, Wi-Fi and GPS; Florence Lawrence, pioneer of brake and indicator signals; Dorothy Levitt, creator of the rear-view mirror; Dorothée Pullinger, innovator of the rear-view mirror; and Dr Gladys West, pioneer of the modern-day GPS.
Ford stated: “We salute the contributions women have made to the automotive industry by literally taking those contributions out. No heat. No brake lights. No GPS. And no way we’d be here today or where we’re going tomorrow without them.”
So, what is the consensus around the Decision Marketing office?
While many IWD marketing campaigns are cynical attempts to capitalise on the event – one retailer was even advertising a third off the price of a Barbie Career Doll – this ad rightly celebrates the work of pioneering women.
When much of the messaging around IWD can be rather depressing, at last we have a healthy dose of positivity to showcase the glories of the sisterhood.
Decision Marketing Adometer: A “top gear” 10 out of 10