3 PR Successes from International Women’s Day

By: Rachel Bonello

International Women’s Day took March 8 by storm. Everyone from Fortune 500 companies and A-list celebrities to brands large and small had something to say about women’s empowerment.  Here is a round-up of our favorite campaigns:

  1. Fearless Girl” Statue on Wall Street in New York: On the eve of International Women’s Day, State Street Global Advisors—an asset management company—placed a statue of a little girl confidently staring down Manhattan’s iconic charging bull to highlight the lack of gender diversity and equality on Wall Street. The statue, created by artist Kristen Visbal, is part of the company’s call on more than 3,500 companies to take concrete steps to increase gender diversity on their executive boards.

  • Analysis: I love the bold move of a public display of support on an international issue at large from one of the many financial companies on Wall Street. State Street Global Advisors’ campaign stood out to me because the firm created a brand experience that was relatable to any viewer who looked upon the statue. It was visual, impactful and timely on a national holiday celebrating women. The gesture made a huge splash with the public in news media and social media and is STILL gaining traction. Well played, State Street and McCann New York, well played.
  1. Emma Watson the Feminist Book Fairy: The Beauty and the Beast star and gender rights activist, in partnership with Book Fairies, visited multiple historic sights on International Women’s Day with one mission in mind: To celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women through the power of literature. Watson left books at locations such as the Harriet Tubman Memorial, the Joan of Arc Memorial, the Gertrude Stein statue and the Eleanor Roosevelt Monument for people to find, take and read.

  • Analysis: I think it’s worth noting the power of celebrity endorsement in our social media driven world today. Emma partnered with a charity to draw attention to International Women’s Day by sharing and spreading ideas through written word about feminism as a component of the #ADayWithoutaWoman movement. She then posted a series of Twitter and Instagram posts documenting her scavenger hunt and sharing those posts with her 25M followers. Charity component, check. Celebrity endorsement, check. Engaging social media campaign, check.
  1. Nike Women TV Campaign: Nike Women has launched three films in the Middle East, Russia and Turkey that challenge gender stereotypes in a style tailored for each region and culture. The films are part of campaigns that launched last month that Nike believes will resonate globally. They were created simultaneously with the same objective—to encourage and inspire women to get more active despite barriers.

  • Analysis: There were plenty of brands showing support for International Women’s Day, but my favorite digital campaign goes to Nike Women. The retailer calls out some of the toughest regions for women trying to climb the socio and economic ladder, and leverages each region’s unique challenges, characteristics and visuals to connect with a broader audience. My hat goes off to W&K Amsterdam on capturing Nike’s message so powerfully.

There were plenty of brilliant campaigns that stemmed from International Women’s Day, but these three examples resonated with us the most. They made us feel hopeful, empowered and a part of something larger than ourselves. We challenge brands to continue their support for women’s empowerment worldwide, and well past one international holiday.