A Satirical Video Applauds Empowering Women Through Advertising

Toronto ad agency John St has a new video and satirical branding campaign that skewers the recent trend of girl-power advertising. In a clear reference to the viral videos created by brands like Dove and Always, the parody announces that the agency is launching a new female empowerment division—Jane St—and painting their entire building pink. 

Backed by a soundtrack of uplifting music, the advertising team discusses how to market to women’s insecurities in an “empowering” way. The team’s system is called “Core Lady Insecurity To Target”—or “C-LITT.” “In order to really stay ahead, we need to identify tomorrow’s insecurities today,” says a staffer, as the team heads to a high school to ask girls whether they ever feel self-conscious about their body hair. 

“There’s really no limit to the amount of empowerment we can empower through the power of our brands,” says another representative.

According to Ad Week, this is the most recent in a series of parody videos John St. has made in which it pretends to open new practices—like one focused on cats. As Maya Dusenberry notes at Feministing, “As long as we live in a capitalist, consumer culture, there are things worth appreciating about this 'girl power' trend in advertising. It’s certainly preferable to the slew of blatantly sexist ads that remain a staple of the marketing industry.” But it's still so delicious to spoof, too. 

by Sarah Mirk
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Sarah Mirk is the former host of Bitch Media’s podcast Popaganda. She’s interested in gender, history, comics, and talking to strangers. You can follow her on Twitter

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