'Ads should rely less on outdated and demeaning stereotypes,' say HK female adland creatives this IWD

Mar 9, 2023

'Ads should rely less on outdated and demeaning stereotypes,' say HK female adland creatives this IWD

It's International Women's Day (IWD) and we have seen an influx of brands across the globe trying to embrace equity and celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women with their ad campaigns. For example, Watsons earlier unveiled its “DARE TO BE” campaign to further its commitment to transcending stereotypes and standing with women to discover the best version of themselves. Meanwhile, Häagen-Dazs is also honouring its female co-founder Rose Mattus, through a global campaign titled “The Rose Project” where it created a US$100k bursary to shine a light on Mattus' unsung contribution to the brand and aims to honour women who don’t hold back. The global initiative also hopes to bring attention to issues such as gender equality and sexism within different societies.


While globally there have been advancements in women's representation in advertising, in Hong Kong, we still have some ways to go, say industry professionals MARKETING-INTERACTIVE spoke to.


Gum Chan (pictured left) and Crystal Chow (pictured right), associate creative director and digital content manager, PRIZM Group Hong Kong 


Women in Hong Kong are generally more independent, strong, and career oriented. We are well respected in society and our social status aren’t any lower than men. Therefore, we don’t think the advertising industry’s opinion on status inequality will be conservative and regressive.


In fact, in recent years, brands are more cautious on gender representations in their marketing. For example, cosmetics brands would avoid using specific “female” acquainted word in consideration for its male customers and, IFM brands would also cover father’s parenting educational content instead of over accentuating the mother’s role. I think this reflects how Hong Kong’s marketing has a mindful and progressive perspective on gender equality.  


"Contrary to our client’s beliefs, we think the end customer has a greater acceptance for daring creatives. If brands can be more open to various personas of women, then there could be opportunity for more dynamic creatives."


Hong Kong brands are generally conservative, they would avoid speaking about gender and choose a safer, less controversial, creative direction...


Published by Marketing Interactive on 8 March 2023