‘Girl-Positive’ Ad Campaigns Support Feminist Consumer Discourse

‘Girl-Positive’ Ad Campaigns Support Feminist Consumer Discourse

Ads geared toward girls that open positive discussions about puberty and women's health.

Hilary Weaver
  • 2 july 2014

Mid-June seemed to be the “time of the month” for women and girl-positive ad campaigns coming from feminine care and beauty companies, and the Internet has seen a flow of positive public reaction. Two weeks ago, Hello Flo, a company that provides starter kits for girls beginning menstruation, introduced their second humorous ad featuring language that  many companies often avoid  by employing phrases like “lady’s days” or using an unidentifiable blue liquid to represent menstruation.

HelloFlo’s first attention-garnering ad aired last summer, featuring a young girl who was the first at camp to get her period and subsequently took rank as the “Camp Gyno,” providing women’s health products to campers. This year’s ad, featuring a young girl who lies to her mother and friends about  getting her period and joining “the blood sisters” club, is subjected to embarrassment when her mother, who’s aware of the deceit, throws her a “First Moon” party. The party games include  “pin the pad on the period” and “bobbing for ovaries,” featuring phrases and language often silenced in the ad world.

With the release of both of Hello Flo’s snarky and creative takes on maturation and puberty, the ad encourages a healthy dose of discourse about the realities of puberty that are never usually discussed, even in tampon commercials.

Another direct approach was taken by Always, a long staple of women’s health care products. With a commercial that addressed the phrase “like a girl,” Always tackled the stereotypes that we so commonly associate with women in sports. After asking women to “run, fight or throw like a girl,” the ad turns around this negatively associated adage, ending with the phrase, “Why can’t ‘run like a girl’ also mean ‘win the race?’ ”

When ads like these from Hello Flo and Always are released into the public, those who lurk outside of Jezebel and usual forums for feminist discourse take notice. But these  ads have caused question in the feminist media communities about whether asking  if using feminism as a platform is a ploy for corporations to gain profit. In an  opinion piece about Pantene’s “Sorry not Sorry ad,Bust asks whether “inserting feminist discourse” defeats the purpose of using it.

But regardless of the problems that might exist within them,  the apparent effects of these ads, such as the  the #likeagirl campaign, are inspiring millions of interactions on Twitter. People are watching, listening and talking, and that’s always a great start.


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