Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 25 seconds

Many brands chose to celebrate International Women’s Day this past weekend. And while many brands chose messages of empowerment or highlighted achievements, some critics have warned of women’s day brand fatigue, while say some brands have “tarnished” the day.

womens day 3198006 640smallThe theme for International Women’s Day, which was on March 8, 2020, was #EachforEqual. The theme champions the idea that an equal world is an enabled world. The day is a celebration of women’s social, economic, cultural, and political achievements. So reports The Drum.

It also raises awareness that there is still a need to push for gender equality and a continuing global movement for women’s rights. The Drum highlighted how fifteen brands are “helping to forge a gender-equal world, celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness against bias and take action for equality.” Here are some of the highlights.

Mini’s “Do It for the Drive” Campaign
Mini, which has embraced championing women ever since 1962, has partnered with Paper Magazine for its digital campaign, #DoItForTheDrive. The ad featured the daughter of legendary female rally driver, Pat Moss, who delivered the first victory for Mini. She was instrumental in helping Mini take the world by storm by winning three Monte Carlo Rallies.

Apple’s “Behind the Mac” Campaign

Apple’s extension of its “Behind the Mac” campaign, a series of short films, features women like Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel laureate and a champion of girls’ education, Lady Gaga, Gloria Steinem, and Megan Rapinoe.

RetailMeNot’s “WeShopWithHer” Campaign

The savings website encourages consumers to support female-led brands by offering cashbacks for brands like Tori Burch, Glossier, and Kate Spade, to name a few. RetailMeNot rewarded shoppers from March 5 to 8.

United Colors of Benetton’s “#UnitedByStories” Campaign
The campaign features women who have overcome adversities—ordinary women who have been through hardships but were able to convert them into opportunities, thus making them extraordinary. #UnitedByStories is their ad campaign.

AdAge, for its part, highlighted campaigns from several additional brands, such as Kind and Nissan.

Kind Snacks’ Support of The Equal Rights Amendment

Kind Snacks, for its part, is highlighting the 100th anniversary of women’s voting rights and supporting The Equal Rights Amendment. The Amendment, which was introduced in Congress in 1923, but not ratified, is designed to guarantee equal rights to all citizens. As part of its efforts, Kind launched an “Equality Bot,” which helps people to contact elected state officials to express support for the amendment.

Nissan’s “Refuse to Compromise” Campaign

Nissan’s campaign, which features Brie Larson and promotes the 2020 Nissan Sentra, tackles female empowerment in the workplace. Women don’t have to compromise in the workplace or with the car. Larson was chosen, according to Allyson Witherspoon, VP of marketing communications and media at Nissan North America, because she has “reached incredible feats in a male-dominated industry because she refused to compromise at every step of the way.”

Are Brands Approach International Women’s Day in the Wrong Way?

Fortune, for its part, recently ran a column entitled “Suffering From International Women’s Day Branding Fatigue” (Login required) while a recent article from Campaign suggests some brands have tarnished the day.

The Campaign article points to McDonald’s turning its golden arches upside down to read as a “W” for women and BrewDog releasing a pink beer for girls. The author also notes that “in the days and weeks leading up to International Women’s Day, Campaign receives numerous pitches from agencies and brands touting the women in their business, with offers to comment on gender equality and female empowerment. As I’ve heard some women in the industry say: why does it take a certain date for companies to put them forward and aren’t there any other topics they would like to speak about besides their gender?”

The author, Brittaney Kiefer, further notes that the day was not invented by brands and has now become the “children’s table of holidays”

“What may have started out innocently enough, with marketers wanting to celebrate women, has devolved into a whirl of hashtagging, bandwagon-jumping and tokenism, clouding the true meaning of this day.”

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