The Rise of Empowering Ads

Ads are increasingly becoming tools of empowerment, more likely to be shared and remembered, creating impressions as well as leaving them. Our client, Bio-Oil recently launched an empowering campaign by the name of Scars Uncovered (or #ScarsUncovered) which tackles issues of body image, scar acceptance, and self-confidence.We are confident that this empowering campaign will inspire hundreds of thousands of women to accept their bodies and come to terms with their scarring in a healthy and safe way.

Recently, we’ve seen more fearless advertisers portraying women and girls in refreshing new ways, focusing on destroying stereotypes rather than promoting them. Both Always and Nike’s empowering ads, #LikeAGirl and #BetterForIt, respectively, are prime examples of this, as women were celebrated for their impact and accomplishments, not for how they look.

For decades the advertising industry has for the most part believed that ‘Sex Sells’, however recent research published by the American Psychological Association shows that sex does not sell, and this is evident on empowerment engagement.

Youtube has recorded that the number of empowering ads has appeared on their Ads Leader board- which showcases the top ads that people choose to watch each month- has more than doubled. The main reason for this increase in views is that people are actually choosing to watch these ads; the top 10 empowering ds were twice as likely to not be skipped as their counterparts. These ads include; Dove, Barbie, Special K, to name a few. Youtube also reports that women ages 18-34 are twice as likely to think highly of a brand that made an empowering ad and around 80% more likely to share, comment, like, and subscribe after watching one ad.


Now that we’ve seen how impactful and compelling empowering ads are, why are we seeing so few? Unfortunately this has to do with women having creative direction to advertise to women, and only 11% of creative directors are women, only half of the creatives who made these empowering ads on the Youtube Ads Leaderboard were women. Women are reportedly going to make up over 65% of the US consumer spending group in the next 10 years, so we could see a rise in the number of creative directors being involved.

Not only are the creative directors and artists of these ads changing, but so are the platforms in which these ads are presented. Online, brands are able to surpass the 30 or 60 seconds to tell compelling and powerful stories. Some of these would be completely unsuccessful airing on TV during a commercial break, such as Dove’s Real beauty Sketches video, which showcased a three minute silent video on observing women’s self-image.

At Mangostorm Media we are proud to be a part of such an empowering ad campaign, run all of Bio-Oil’s digital marketing activities. Not only is the campaign giving viewers a voice, it also offers viewers the opportunity to join the conversation. Have a look at Bio-Oil’s recent campaign #ScarsUncovered here:

Have a look through Youtube’s Ad Leaderboards here: