Take a minute to watch some of the ads nominated for the Cannes Glass Lion, a new award celebrating work that tackles sexism in advertising.
To sell stuff, advertising campaigns have historically preyed on consumers’ insecurities, enforced gender norms and perpetuated stereotypes. Recently, though, that tide is starting to turn, as innovative and socially-conscious brands begin to use the medium to fight against those stereotypes and celebrate diversity and inclusion.
Cannes Lions—the world’s biggest annual awards show for the creative communications industry—announced the nominees for the inaugural Glass Lion award today. Created in partnership with Sheryl Sandberg’s LeanIn.Org, the new honor was created to recognize creative work that addresses inequality and prejudice in advertising.
“Commercials have had such a huge impact, negatively, on young boys’ and young girls’ self esteem, their sense of self, their self worth, their aspirations for who they can be, and [the advertising industry] is recognizing that it’s part of that culture creation, and that it actually could have an opposite effect, a positive effect,” said Jennifer Siebel Newsom, founder and CEO of The Representation Project and a judge on the Glass Lion selection committee. “There are enough people in the industry who recognize this, who get this, so we’re at this tipping point of change, and the Glass Lion is going to be a huge part of that.”
The submissions, which came from a range of countries that include Uruguay, Saudi Arabia, India, Lebanon, the United Kingdom and the United States, sought to challenge gender norms of both men and women through emotion, satire, protest, humor and creativity. Here are a few of the highlights:
This Girl Can
The This Girl Can campaign, developed by Sport England, takes aim at the typical portrayal of women in sports advertising, celebrating a wider range of body types in a way that the big sports brands traditionally have not. “It’s so much fun and it’s liberating and empowering and it’s really addressing the body issue and women empowerment in a refreshing, energizing way,” says Newsom.