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IWD2019: Our favourite campaigns

Each year on 8th March, the world celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women around the world with International Women’s Day. It’s a rallying cry for a more gender-balanced world, activated by celebrating women, raising awareness of gender-bias and activism. Junior Graphic Designer, Eshe Brown shares some of the brand campaigns that caught our attention and make a difference all year round, not just for one day.

Campaign #1: Badass.Gal


Concerned that just 2% of creative directors are women, and many young women drop out of the creative industry before they’ve even signed their first contract, Charlotte Hugh and Danny Pallet built a platform to celebrate a new, young female creative every single day of the year.

Badass.Gal launched on IWD 2018, inviting nominations of women in the creative industry that were going above and beyond. A year later – this IWD – and the platform now features a staggering 365 women and their achievements.

To mark the anniversary and their phenomenal achievement on IWD 2019, Hugh and Pallett hosted a two-day exhibition showcasing these striking portraits of a selection of the nominees, shot by Marc Hayden and illustrated by art director and illustrator Beki Reilly.

Why we love it

Women often shy away from celebrating their success but this campaign has helped break the stigma around self-promotion and encourages women to be proud of their achievements. The platform has also become a place to source creative female talent – helping to combat the gender-gap in the industry.

Campaign #2: Vanguards – Off The Wall

In 2018, Vans embarked on a global initiative to teach women of all ages how to skateboard in an effort to introduce a new form of expression and empower the skate community through new perspectives.

Working with four female skaters from America, Brazil and Japan, Vans produced a four-minute film “Vanguards” to showcase talented female skaters, as well as how their unique experiences have defined their own sense of style on and off the board.

Why we love it

The skate industry has historically focused on the sport from a male perspective but by enlisting female skate ambassadors across the globe and giving them a platform to talk about what skating means to them, Vans inspires more women to take up skating and connect with their brand.

Vans didn’t stop with the film either, it followed with free skate clinics for girls across Europe and America, skateboard art workshops, as well as a photographic retrospective looking back at the most powerful females in the world of professional skateboarding.

Campaign #3: US Air Force – Origin Story

In a drive to encourage more women to join its ranks the US Air Force launched a recruitment campaign this IWD featuring more than 80-female pilots working in its force.

The 30-second film, Origin Story, included women in almost every rank – from generals, second lieutenants and first assignment instructor pilots, fresh out of pilot training and was remarkably filmed in just 1 day!

The inspiring women also feature on the US Air Force website talking about their experiences in the force and how other girls that dream of becoming a pilot can make it a reality.

Why we love it

Not only does this campaign feature real life stories that inspire young girls to set their sights higher than they think possible, it also cleverly leveraged the launch of the Captain Marvel film (featuring a lead female pilot) by screening the ad in cinemas on the same day.

The Campaign#4: #BalanceforBetter – Diageo

Diageo created a short film to highlight the lack of gender equality ahead of IWD. The film talks openly and honestly about inclusion and diversity in marketing and features brands who hold their hand up to have made mistakes in the past but are actively working to readdress the balance both behind the camera in creative departments.

Why we love it

The film is backed up by hard-hitting insights such as “men are 62% more likely to be showed as smart and twice as likely showed as funny” And “55% of mums feel like the advertising sector doesn’t represent them fully, properly and wholly and authentically”, which makes a compelling case for the need for greater diversity and inclusion in marketing.


is a Junior Graphic Designer and author of food blog, Foodie Eshe.