A series of advertisements created by Memac Ogilvy & Mather Dubai, for UN Women were created to reveal widespread sexism through real google auto-searches (dated 9 March, 2013) these ads reveal both the stereotyping of women and the outright denial of women’s rights. The google search boxes were placed over images of women’s faces and positioned over women’s mouths as if to silence their voices. The positing of the search boxes literally covering the women’s mouths shows the viewer how serious the issue is and how when women speak up about it they can often be silenced and not taken seriously especially in countries where women have very few basic rights.
“The ads are shocking because they show just how far we still have to go to achieve gender equality. They are a wake up call, and we hope that the message will travel far,” (Kareem Shuhaibar – http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2013/10/women-should-ads) these advertisements aim to communicate the serious, important message that this kind of sexism and inequality still exists and how it needs to be stopped. The advertisements are effective because of the shocking statements that come up in the google search bars showing that some people actually have and still do feel this way about women and women having basic human rights. The statements aim to make the viewer feel encouraged to act on this issue as some of the statements promote such a denial of basic human rights “Women need to be controlled” , the aim is to make viewers so shocked by these blatantly sexist statements that they want to stand up and fight against sexism. Another way these ads successfully communicate this message is through the facial expressions of the women, they do not look sad, vulnerable or in pain. The emotive image of someone crying or in pain is really effective for a child abuse or animal abuse campaign as people feel the need to protect and help them as they are not as capable of protecting themselves, whereas for a women’s rights campaign a vulnerable image of women is not what Memac Ogilvy & Mather Dubai want to communicate through their advertisement as that projects an image of someone who cannot look after themselves as well as others which is the exact opposite of what needs to be said. The message should be that women are as powerful and strong as men and deserve the same rights. The images of these women communicate a sense of power through the emotionless facial expressions as they are not shown as weak or vulnerable tackling the statements shown in the google search bars such as “women shouldn’t drive” and “women need to be put in their place”.
The video advertisement connected with this campaign aims to show the things women have achieved and how far we have come with women’s rights. Such as women getting the right to vote and when during World War II when women took on roles of work that were previously seen as ‘male jobs’ proving that women are just as capable as men. The video aims to show how far we have come with the achievements of women’s rights to drive people to be encouraged to keep going as we have proved that when issues are protested against and when people speak up they can create a positive outcome.
Images and video from – http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2013/10/women-should-ads