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Move over International Women’s Day cupcakes, these campaigns take the cake

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Move over International Women’s Day cupcakes, these campaigns take the cake

Charlotte Tilbury branded F1 Academy car

The month of March – International History Month – offers brands and advertisers a dedicated opportunity to highlight their progress and change in creating equality for all within the working landscape. However, over the past few years, the occasion seems to have become tokenistic for many brands – perhaps only seen as a marketing opportunity.

Marketing Mag reviewed some of the advertising campaigns by brands for 2024’s International Women’s Day. Here are some of our favourites that went beyond the ad to not only empower women and align with the key ideology of the event, but also develop meaningful and proactive positive change.

1. ‘See My Name’ by Molson

Ice hockey is Canada’s national sport – it’s a game they go so far as to say they ‘own’. One of Canada’s oldest breweries, Molson, recently engaged in a multi-year partnership with the Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) and announced their sponsorship just a few days prior to International Women’s Day with a new initiative and brilliant campaign.

When the Toronto and Montreal teams went head-to-head on 8 March, both sides sported unique updated jerseys sponsored by Molson.

A recent study by global sports agency Wasserman found that a lack of equitable sports media coverage has resulted in women’s sports only accounting for a mere 15 percent of total market. While interest in women’s sports is growing, the awareness of female athletes is not growing anywhere near the same rate. The design of the traditional male-focussed jersey hasn’t aided the issue either.

The player name has long been placed at the upper back of the uniform which has been adequate for the male league – but when it comes to women’s hockey, the area is often hidden by their long hair.

In an effort to bring greater visibility and recognition to the PWHL players, Molson has flipped the placement of their logo to the top – moving the name to the bottom. The initiative is designed to “cover the Molson name so hers can be seen”.

While just currently a pilot project, PWHL says these steps are “just a first of many in Molson’s mission to help elevate female hockey players”.

‘See My Name’ is a great campaign already, but it is strategically designed to change the landscape of women’s hockey and potentially the entire market of female sport. Having made this shift on the jersey design, Molson is making it difficult for future sponsors to reverse this ‘new normal’, aligning with their principles of committing to the league and elevating its players.

2. ‘Never Your Fault’ by L’Oréal

In a world where 80 percent of women have already experienced sexual harassment in a public space at least once in their lives, a new combined initiative by L’Oréal and Right To Be, called ‘Never your Fault’ aims to ‘Stand Up Against Street Harassment’ with a new training program.

The findings of a new study by Ipsos for L’Oréal Foundation highlight that two out of three women are changing their physical appearance to avoid street harassment. Global president of L’Oréal Paris Delphine Viguier-Hovasse says the message to women is: “It’s never your fault, your clothes, nor your make-up. And everyone should be reminded of it. Every day.”

The global beauty megabrand engaged in a partnership with Right To Be in 2020, with a program focused on raising awareness about this global issue and training people on how to react safely when experiencing or witnessing it.

The teachings are based on the 5D’s methodology created by Right To Be, an international NGO expert in the fight against harassment of all forms. To date, more than 2.5 million people have been trained with Stand Up across 44 countries.

It's Never Your Fault campaign by L'Oréal

3. Charlotte Tilbury enters into a partnership with F1 ACADEMY

While this big news is not explicitly an IWD campaign, globally renowned beauty empire Charlotte Tilbury has recently entered into a landmark partnership as the Official Partner of F1 ACADEMY in 2024

Although this is the beauty brand’s first-ever global sports sponsorship, it isn’t afraid to make waves and turn heads as seen with its new car livery which is emblazoned with the iconic Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips icon and Charlotte’s empowerment mantra ‘Makeup Your Destiny!’

Charlotte Tilbury F1 Academy car

As the first female-founded company to become a sponsor of the project, Charlotte Tilbury is sticking true to its values of ‘empowering everyone, everywhere to feel their most confident’.

The F1 ACADEMY is an ambitious new project from Formula 1 to develop and prepare female drivers to progress to higher levels of competition. Former racer and F1 ACADEMY managing director Susie Wolff said: “We want young women and girls to feel confident to chase their dreams, no matter the odds. We are on a mission to transform access to our sport, celebrate trailblazing female pioneers in our industry and inspire a new generation of young women to pursue a career in motorsport.”

Charlotte Tilbury also said: “Motorsport has a huge female following, and the drivers of F1 ACADEMY are already increasing representation and diversity in the sport. With this partnership, we will use our global platform to elevate this new generation of fearless young female drivers and open up the traditionally male-dominated world of motorsport to even more talented young women.”

Susie Wolff and Charlotte Tilbury
Susie Wolff and Charlotte Tilbury

The popularity of Formula 1 has skyrocketed in recent years with the success of Netflix’s Drive to Survive documentary series, which has offered new audiences an opportunity to step into the traditionally male-dominanted sport. Women now make up 40 percent of the global F1 fanbase, contributing to a total 2022 season viewership of over 1.5 billion, so whether you realise it or not, the automotive sport is rapidly changing.

Also, read about LinkedIn’s first IWD global campaign to support working women.

L’Oréal photography by L’Oréal Paris.
F1 Academy photography by Charlotte Tilbury.


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Billy Klein

Billy Klein is a content producer at Niche Media.

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