If you saw a sign that read ‘beautiful women eat free’, you might be offended. But on International Women’s Day (March 8th), Spoleto, a Brazilian fast food chain, set out such signs with mirrors and offered meals to every women that could look at themselves and say they were beautiful. The marketing stunt was intended to ‘create good moments’ (the company’s tagline) and enhance the self-esteem of female diners.
In the video below, you can see the surprised and positive reaction of women, who happily state affirmations of beauty to get a free plate. The gimmick, created by Rio agency Artplan, reportedly resulted in 500 women receiving meals on-the-house and a 35% increase in sales that day.
Using advertising to spread a message of female empowerment, while also trying to sell them something, is nothing new (such as the much-talked about the Dove Real Beauty campaign) but Spoleto has received some criticism for reducing a woman’s beauty to her outward appearance. The stunt, which is supposed to encourage positive self-esteem happens to reinforce traditional notions that physical attributes are how a woman measures her self-worth. The day long campaign may have been an admirable attempt at encouraging women to love themselves, but did have a heavy emphasis on physical appearance.
See the experiment below: