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Around International Women’s Day, we see a real increase of ‘girl power’ hitting our screens. This is no bad thing, but sometimes there’s a difference between genuine societal empowerment and filling a quota.

So far, 2019 has been an amazing year in the world of advertising. We’ve seen campaigns that surpass the ticking of a gender equality box – they push boundaries and redefine expectations.

RAF – No Room for Cliches

Subverting stereotypical female advertisements, this latest from the RAF takes the female-targeted voice-overs of beauty and feminine hygiene ads, and pairs them with some very different on-screen action. The message is clear – women are defined by their actions, not the clichés thrown at them by campaigns that target their insecurities and feelings of self-worth.

Nike – Dream Crazier

The Nike ‘Dream Crazier’ campaign really hit home during the Oscars. Combining the powerful voice of Serena Williams with a montage of sporting legends, this ad focuses on the boundaries they – and the women before them – have had to overcome. It’s girl power with emphasis on the power.

Bumble – #InHerCourt

Although this is Serena William’s second appearance in our list, the ad for the social app series, Bumble, has a very different feel. It focuses is on ‘making the first move’, not only in the dating sense, but in life. She tells us that if she had waited to be invited in, she never would have stood out – she could have been an also-ran, and not the sporting legend she has become.

Olay – Killer Skin

Although #KillerSkin is a more conventional female-targeted ad than others in this list, the brand chose to launch their campaign at a very male dominated event – the Super Bowl. With only 23% of Super Bowl adverts even featuring women, Olay managed to cut through the noise, and reach a predicted 45% female viewership on one of the most male-centric days of the year.

With the laws surrounding ASA Gender Stereotypes set to go live in June this year, we hope this is the start of something long-lasting. The sentiment of supporting women shouldn’t be limited to the sole purpose of captivating an audience and selling them products or services. When you truly support people and express that with authenticity, it shines through because people feel it.