'This girl can' marketer urges advertisers to embrace 'beautiful honesty'

Tanya Joseph, the director of business partnerships at Sport England and the marketer behind the "This girl can" campaign, has urged advertisers to ditch the bullshit and recognise that images of real women can be aspirational.

Speaking at The Body Confidence Event in London today, Joseph said that if brands are honest with women they will be more likely to buy your product.

She said: "Advertising needs to look beautiful, but we did it without the bullshit. It can be aspirational. Women looked like they really looked and this enabled us to connect with women."

According to Joseph, at the moment so few brands are diverse there is a lot more scope for brands to use different types of images and people.

She explained: "There is huge scope for brands and organisations to differentiate themselves by just using diverse role models. My message to brands is treat us with respect you can make beautiful campaigns and beautiful advertising but do it honestly."

This lack of honesty can be oppressive to female consumers. Joseph went on to say that millions of pounds are spent by the lifestyle sports marketing industry yet viewers never see women sweat in ads. 

"There is huge scope for brands and organisations to differentiate themselves by just using diverse role models"
Tanya Joseph, director of business partnerships at Sport England

Addressing the lack of diversity in advertising, Ed Watson, global communications director at N Brown, said the advertising industry "still has a very '50s approach in advertising to what men and women look like."

In a bid to better tackle this issue, Caryn Franklin advocates more activism from the industry. Pointing to the lack of diversity in the creative industries she challenged diverse individuals in the industry to take on more activism.

She explained: "We have corporations making a fortune selling femininity to women without taking into account what women are saying, there is a role for more activism.

"The objectification of women and increasingly men is a matter of ethics. It is not the consumer who should take on that shame, it is the corporate. The most subversive thing we can do is to take that shame and place it as the doors of corporate that could be powerful. There is a lot of shame and we could do something with it."

Start Your Free 30-Day Free Trial

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.com , plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events.

Become a subscriber


Don’t miss your daily fix of breaking news, latest work, advice and commentary.

register free