Last Thursday the world celebrated International Women’s Day, praising women across the globe at a time when equality and sexual discrimination is at crisis. As expected, various brands joined the conversation through campaign launches, initiatives and stunts.
‘News agenda’ items can be a make or break period for companies and brands. However, if executed badly or if values are at risk of coming across ingenuine, events such as International Women’s Day, Valentine’s Day, April Fool’s Day and more can serve just as much negative coverage as potential positive. Two great examples we spotted last week came from British Airways and Creative Equals, and both proved that there is a correct way of joining the conversation without setting yourself up for a fall.
To celebrate International Women’s Day and as a means to encourage more females towards the aviation industry, British Airways held their first ever all-female flight. All the staff involved, from the control room and security staff to cabin crew and pilots, were women. Fronted by Carol Vordeman, herself a qualified pilot and RAF ambassador, the airline released a behind-the-scenes video of the day and achieved wide-spread positive UK coverage including the Daily Mail, The Independent and The Sun.
Interestingly, British Airways weren’t the only airline to do this. EasyJet ran sixteen all-female flights using six all-female crews on the same day, yet received considerably less media attention. With high production values and a credible brand ambassador, British Airways flew above their rival in a timely, and professional manner.
Here’s to more women
Creative Equals, an organisation championing diversity in the creative industries, adapted a number of recognisable logos, including Pringles, Dreamworks and Green Giant, by replacing the depicted male figures with women. In truth in the design industry only 11.2% of design directors are female. This issue was well-received by the likes of The Drum, Campaign and Dezeen to name a few.
Jumping on the bandwagon can leave corporations open to scrutiny as much as it can help celebrate their values. There were some examples of brands that received unexpected backlash from their own creative initiatives this year. However, British Airways and Creative Equals have shown if done in the right way, it can be worth taking that risk.