P&G’s Always brand’s #LikeAGirl confidence-boosting campaign aimed at girls facing puberty—and society’s expectations—just took home top honors at the 2015 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity for best PR campaign. Two weeks later, the campaign is introducing #LikeAGirl’s next leg—with some high kicks and some high-profile allies to kick it off.
Its new “Unstoppable” campaign, which talked to more than 100 girls of different ages and backgrounds, focuses on confidence and dispelling prejudices like “girls can’t be brave” and “girls aren’t strong.” In addition to releasing a new wave of research highlighting the confidence crisis, it’s also creating a confidence-based curriculum for teachers that could reach 20 million girls worldwide and a partnership with TED to help reach educators.
In short, it’s kicking over the boxes of perceptions and expectations bestowed on girls as follow-on to the viral smash #LikeAGirl ad, which has been watched more than 85 million times on YouTube and has earned more than a billion impressions worldwide. It also aired at this year’s Super Bowl — a first for a feminine hygiene ad.
The new “Always #LikeAGirl Unstoppable” pro-social video and global confidence education curriculum were unveiled on Tuesday in New York during the Always #LikeAGirl Confidence Summit. The keynote speaker: Maisie Williams, the 18-year-old British actress who plays Arya Stark on HBO’s Game of Thrones. While Game of Thrones may be too violent and mature for younger girls, Williams has a massive social media following and is an inspiring, kickass role model to girls everywhere.
“I believe it’s important for young women to feel supported and motivated to pursue their passions,” said Williams at the Summit. “I applaud the work that Always is doing and am proud to join them in empowering girls to be confident and unstoppable #LikeAGirl.”
“It’s time for society to stop telling girls what they should and shouldn’t do,” she added. “And instead, through the quietest whispers and the loudest megaphones, tell them that they are unstoppable. It’s time for girls to be free; free to nurture and celebrate whatever qualities and talents make them different. It’s the most liberating time moving into adulthood. But that transition should not happen with labels and expectations, but with an open heart and mind. The Like a Girl movement has done so much to elevate the conversation. Girls we have to stick together, please support each other.”
Fama Francisco, VP Global Feminine Care at P&G said, “You would expect that girls believe things will get better but, in fact, our latest research shows that one in two girls think that in 10 years there will be the same or even more limitations for young girls.”
Powerhouse conference organizer TED is promoting the new #LikeAGirl curriculum via its Ted-Ed educational platform with ‘confidence-inducing’ content.
“In the spirit of TED’s mission, ideas worth spreading, we are partnering with the #LikeAGirl campaign to reach young girls at a critical stage in their lives,” said Stephanie Lo, TED-Ed Programs Director at TED. “We’re excited to work with Always on developing engaging educational content to help girls around the world maintain confidence through puberty and beyond.”
Always also released a short film directed by Zuriel Oduwole featuring 17-year-old Sarah Sobka, the UK’s young scientist of the year, who discovered a new form of treatment for Cystic Fibrosis and commented: “No girl should feel she can’t do something because of her gender. I understand why girls wouldn’t feel comfortable doing a particular activity that society ascribes as typically ‘male’. I believe its time to take a stand.”
It follows on the short film (above) that Always released with Save the Children and the UN to address the need for more confidence-boosting programs and support around the world.
Also released this week: the latest wave of the Always Confidence & Puberty Survey, with new research showing the depressing state of girls’ confidence as a call to action to involve educators and more partners in the campaign. In the UK, for example, nine out of 10 (88%) of girls surveyed said they feel feel pressure to conform to how girls “are supposed to feel and act.”
• 72 percent said they feel held back by society’s dictates and expectations
• 53 percent lacked the confidence to do whatever they wanted to do after puberty
• 89 percent feel pressure to conform to the way they’re supposed to feel and act
• Sixty percent believe society’s expectations have a negative impact on their life.
The results are “a wake-up call for all of us to encourage girls to smash any limitations that hold them back and empower them to be unstoppable,” P&G’s Francisco commented.
The power of #LikeAGirl as a call to action is what made it a clear winner at Cannes Lions, where Lynne Anne Davis, PR jury president and Fleishman Hillard president and senior partner for Asia Pacific region said, “There was a clear consensus for the Grand Prix. It marries brand purpose with commercial [purpose]… No generation will ever look at ‘Like a Girl’ as anything other than something to be proud of. It has the power to change the world. It inserted itself into pop culture because it didn’t just speak to girls. It hit a chord with everyone: women, mothers, fathers, and it spoke to every single culture [and told] a cultural truth that transcends boundaries.”
Here’s to kicking over boxes—and a stellar example of how a brand can create change and foster a social conversation that has the power to change a generation of young women and alter the stereotypes that limit the potential for girls.
— Lean In (@LeanInOrg) July 7, 2015
— Target (@Target) July 7, 2015
Below, hear more from the #LikeAGirl hero film director, Lauren Greenfield, and see the infographic summarizing the brand’s latest research: