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Campaigns that challenge gender stereotypes recognised in the Philippines

News Videos /18 November 2021

The Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines (IMMAP), with support from Investing in Women (IW), recently awarded the first-ever Purple Boomerang to recognise marketing campaigns that intentionally challenge gender stereotypes.

The inaugural Purple Boomerang, presented as a special category in IMMAP’s sought-after Boomerang Awards on 15 October, went to the “Let Her Be” campaign, created for AVON Philippines by Mullenlowe TREYNA in time for International Women’s Day 2021.

“Let Her Be” shows women facing common questions or criticisms that reinforce preconceived notions of how women should look and act or the choices they should make. These include remarks such as, “How can you find a husband if you keep eating like that?” or “You are not acting like a lady.”

In their submission for the award, the team behind “Let Her Be” argued that women can be empowered to make their own choices if society did not force them into limiting moulds of womanhood. Visually, the ad also recognised the diversity of women, showing them in a range of shapes, colours and looks.

Finalists for the Purple Boomerang included “Story of Us” created for McDonald’s Philippines by Leo Burnett and “Unmasked, UNAsked” created for UN Women by Havas Ortega.

The three finalists for the Purple Boomerang were chosen from 17 submissions for the inaugural award.

“The strong level of interest for an award that was announced only this year proves that there are early champions among brands and agencies in the Philippines for addressing gender stereotypes in ads,” IW CEO Dr Julia Newton-Howes said.

“We hope that the Purple Boomerang will encourage these industry champions to continue advocating for thoughtful and empowering gender portrayals in their campaigns and will influence other brands and agencies to do the same,” she added.

IMMAP has committed to making the Purple Boomerang an annual award, recognising the industry’s role in shaping gender norms. IMMAP’s membership consists of some of the biggest advertisers and ad agencies in the Philippines, media and tech platforms and other digital industry players.

“Gender equality and women’s rights are issues that IMMAP stands for… and I think that’s why we felt we were aligned in joining IW in creating this award,” Henry Motte-Muñoz, IMMAP Board Member and Edukasyon.ph CEO, said in an interview with CNN Philippines about the Purple Boomerang.

“Advertising and marketing reflect society, but they also shape the way people evolve in terms of consumer behaviour and their workplace behaviour, so [stereotypes in advertising are] incredibly important to address,” he added.

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