Always “Like a Girl” ad will re-define stereotypes

Posted on Posted in Beloved Brands Explained


Most days I can safely say “we are just marketers,” but every once in a while, I see that we can have a cultural impact. We can use our platform to stand up for consumers, in this case, teenage girls, and in fact, all women will be moved by this video.

A new 3-minute video by the ALWAYS team at P&G is making its way around the internet this weekend with millions of views already. I hope that it gives you goosebumps, tears or gets you to think differently.

The insight that P&G’s team found was that somewhere in the adolescence stage, girls self-confidence plummets. In the video, they ask both men and women over the age of 15 to depict what “like a girl” looks like, and both sexes show a stereotype and a negative association with WEAK. Moreover, then, they ask 8-10-year-old girls to “run like a girl,” and they show how they would NORMALLY run. The insight is that somewhere between 10 and 15, girls start to see “like a girl” as an insult. The Always brand challenges us to re-define “like a girl.”

Here’s a look:  

It’s one more example of where Procter and Gamble are moving, to emotionally connect with consumers. Click on this article to see how P&G is making this change: P&G has become good at Emotional Advertising

I’m a dad of a 16-year-old girl, and I can see this insight. I remember playing football in the backyard when my daughter was around 10, and she picked up the football and threw a perfect spiral about 20 yards. I just stood in awe. She’s a fantastic athlete, a Dennis Rodman type basketball player who leaves nothing on the court. In 6th and 7th grade she was the regional shot put champion. Also, then in 8th grade, she didn’t even go out for her school team. She was fighting those stereotypes at a tough age to “be a girl.”  The Dove Outdoor campaign from last year hit home with girls quitting sports in their teens because of confidence. In today’s world of Instagram and Twitter, from what I see every day, it’s harder than ever to get to 20 feeling good about yourself.

Getting on the side of your consumer makes your consumer say “this brand is for me” and “this brand gets me.” Unilever was the first CPG brands to get on the side of consumers with the Dove “real beauty” campaign–still, a gold standard that many of us aspire to.

However, in reality, CPG brands should still look beyond CPG to push themselves. You are watching Nike’s “if you let me play” ad from 1995, you can see the inspiration of this work. This ad is for all the women who kick ass in sports, including my daughter.

Doing this type of advertising takes guts. At this point, the video is viral and gaining momentum. This type of work comes straight out of insights gathered by the team. Insight is not something that consumers never knew before. That would be knowledge or news, but not insight. It’s not data or fact about your brand that you want to tell. Real insight goes a layer or two deeper to help with the cause and effect. Oddly enough, Insight is something that everyone already knows. Here is my definition: Insight comes to life when it’s told in such a captivating way that makes consumers stop and say “hmm, I thought I was the only who felt like that.” Always ad strikes that chord of women and connects with women.

Many of us wish we could do this type of work. However, how does it happen? I don’t work at P&G but here are my guesses. They spent more money on GATHERING insights than they did on TESTING the work. Put it this way: while testing your Ads might make you sleep better at night, gathering insights will make you dream more. The brief did not say “I want a 30 and 15-second ad, plus give me a print ad I can use in-store”. There were no claims or demo requests, and they didn’t jam in a claim at 2 minutes and 23 seconds into the video. There was no debate over pack shots, of which SKU to use. I guess that not everyone at P&G bought into this and the work had to be sold in, to various levels by someone that believed in it. Every great ad I was ever part of met significant resistance, even doubt, and rejection. That doesn’t mean you give up. It would be best if you were more afraid of the ads where EVERYONE in your company likes the ad you want to make.


To learn more about this type of thinking, you should explore my new book, Beloved Brands.

With Beloved Brands, you will learn everything you need to know so you can build a brand that your consumers will love.

You will learn how to think strategically, define your brand with a positioning statement and a brand idea, write a brand plan everyone can follow, inspire smart and creative marketing execution and analyze the performance of your brand through a deep-dive business review.

Beloved Brands book

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Beloved Brands: Who are we?

At Beloved Brands, our purpose is to help brands find a new pathway to growth. We believe that the more love your brand can generate with your most cherished consumers, the more power, growth, and profitability you will realize in the future.

We think the best solutions are likely inside you already, but struggle to come out. Our unique playbook tools are the backbone of our workshops. We bring our challenging voice to help you make decisions and refine every potential idea.

We start by defining a brand positioning statement, outlining the desired target, consumer benefits and support points the brand will stand behind. And then, we build a brand idea that is simple and unique enough to stand out in the clutter of the market, motivating enough to get consumers to engage, buy and build a loyal following with your brand.

We will help you write a strategic brand plan for the future, to get everyone in your organization to follow. It starts with an inspiring vision that pushes your team to imagine a brighter future. We use our strategic thinking tools to help you make strategic choices on where to allocate your brand’s limited resources.

Our brand playbook methodology will challenge you to unlock future growth for your brand

  1. Our deep-dive assessment process will give you the knowledge of the issues facing your brand, so you can build a smart plan to unleash future growth.
  2. Find a winning brand positioning statement that motivates consumers to buy, and gives you a competitive advantage to drive future growth.
  3. Create a brand idea to capture the minds and hearts of consumers, while inspiring and focusing your team to deliver greatness on the brand’s behalf.
  4. Build a brand plan to help you make smart focused decisions, so you can organize, steer, and inspire your team towards higher growth.
  5. Advise on advertising, to find creative that drives branded breakthrough and use a motivating messaging to set up long-term brand growth.
  6. Our brand training program will make your brand leaders smarter, so you have added confidence in their performance to drive brand growth.

To learn more about our coaching, click on this link: Beloved Brands Strategic Coaching

To learn more about our training programs, click on this link: Beloved Brands Training

If you need our help, email me at or call me at 416 885 3911

You have my personal promise to help you solve your brand building challenges. I will give you new thinking, so you can unlock future growth for your brand.

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