It’s starting to feel like there is a festival or holiday nearly every month in China that caters to consumerism. Single’s Day finishes out the year, then we start a new with Chinese New Year, and now on March 8th comes International Women’s Day. Interestingly enough, China is actually one of the few countries where women are entitled to take the day off– and hopefully this benefits more than just consumerism.
Of course, sales are part of it, and it comes as no surprise that JD and Tmall release various commercials for the 8th of March holiday, but the ads also make and attempt at empowering women in China.
Tmall’s ad “我，就耀多彩” meaning “I am shining” presents three women protagonists: actresses Ren Suxi and Jiang QinQin and performer辣目洋子 who advocate that being a woman is not about fitting into one box, but embracing a whole spectrum of qualities that women possess.
American luxury fashion brand Calvin Klein is also embracing diversity in their new ad made especially for Women’s Day. The campaign is very personal, with main characters, who are shot without make-up, talk about how they have overcame different hardships in their lives and have turned them into victories. “Creativity makes me who I am,” states Bonnie Chen in the video, a model and artist from China.
Following a similar narrative, Wieden + Kennedy Shanghai has released a commercial celebrating women in sports who face negativity and social prejudice but overcome them with great triumph. The visually and very impactful film uses diverse camera techniques and strong music and sound effects to create an incredibly dramatic story that drives this important message home.
Ultimately, The #MeToo Movement has already deep roots in the West, but tackling gender norms in China is something advertisers still seem a little timid about. These examples are only a few of what we are seeing this year, but the numbers are still low compared to the West. However, hopefully this new trend of female empowerment will be seen more and more in the advertising in China.