by Ashley Tucciarone
Do you believe the abilities of girls are limited by individuals in today’s society? Do you think the stereotypes of gender roles make women feel degraded in a society full of high expectations and judgment? #LikeAGirl by Always is a social media campaign that strives for high confidence and elevated faith for young teenage girls, during puberty and beyond. The first #LikeAGirl video was released in June 2014, and the campaign was so successful, that it is still currently active. The goal of Always is to spread the message that any girl, at any age, can be invincible and exceed the expectations that are set by society. Puberty is an awkward and tough stage in a teenager’s life; the purpose of Always is to be a support system both physically and emotionally for girls as they go through the transition from puberty into a young woman.
#LikeAGirl received a lot of positive feedback when it was first shown, however, when it was played as a Superbowl ad shortly later, Always had finally made their mark. After the commercial aired on the Superbowl, women turned to Twitter to explain the things they do “like a girl” and how their gender does not stop them from being strong and confident. Shortly after, #LikeAGirl became a popular trend on Twitter. Twitter, compared to other social media sites allowed individuals to converse with Always and share their personal experiences.
The three minute video interviewed participants of various ages and genders, asking each to run “like a girl,” or “throw like a girl” and then examine how each individual interpreted the phrase. At first, the older interviewee’s mocked and made fun of the negative stereotypes associated with girls and sports. However, the younger interviewee’s still had open minds about this controversy. As the video continues, Always asks, “When did doing something like a girl become an insult?” A girls confidence plummets during puberty, and Always wants to change that. The video ends with an extremely confident young girl coming forward and explaining that she is proud to be a girl, and that “running like a girl” or “throwing like a girl” is acceptable if you are a girl. She stresses that young girls should be proud and confident of their gender. Always states, “Let’s make #LikeAGirl mean amazing things.”
The strategies Always used to conduct their social media campaign was well planned, smart, and clearly successful. Their campaign has touched millions of people, young girls specifically, across several different countries. If Always could improve their campaign, I would suggest they have a male give his opinion and final thoughts at the end of the video, just like they did with a female. Although the campaign specifically reaches out to girls, I think it would help more men to realize that “like a girl” can be extremely offensive to some people, and I think it would thus hit home for men as well.
#LikeAGirl by Always was a social win on several different levels. It has forever changed the way our society interprets the phrase “like a girl.” The video itself on YouTube received 85 million views from 150+ countries. Before viewing the video, only 19% of individuals from ages 16-24 had a positive outlook on the phrase “like a girl.” After watching the film, the percentage increased to 76%. Surprisingly, 2/3 men who watched the video claim they will think twice before using the phrase “like a girl” as an insult. Furthermore, this successful social media campaign won D&AD Pencils within eight different categories. Always had high hopes, large ambitions, and a strong purpose. They have created a positive connotation with the phrase “like a girl,” and they have forever made a lasting impact on the confidence level of young girls transforming into women.
Always. (2014). Our Epic Battle #LikeAGirl. Retrieved from http://always.com/en-us/about-us/our-epic-battle-like-a-girl
Always, Holler, and Leo Burnett Chicago. (2015). #LikeAGirl. Retrieved from http://www.dandad.org/en/case-study-always-likeagirl/.
Hexagon, C. (2016). Empowering Women Through Social Conversation [Examining Why Social Cause Campaigns Work]. Retrieved from http://www.crimsonhexagon.com/blog/marketing/examining-social-cause-campaigns-work/
Popken, B. (2014, June 30). Who says ‘like a girl’ is an insult? Not this empowering new ad. NBC News. Retrieved from http://www.today.com/money/who-says-girl-insult-not-empowering-new-ad-1D79870115
Vagianos, A, (2015, February 4). The Reaction To #LikeAGirl Is Exactly Why It’s So Important. Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/03/why-like-a-girl-is-so-important_n_6598970.html