As someone who consistently points out the dearth of women in pretty much every form of media, I want to love this ad. But I think it falls flat. Here are a few reasons why:
1) Lack of focus. Women, and people overall, can certainly manifest bravery in a multitude of ways. Still, the theme of bravery alone isn’t enough to cut from Malala to Margaret Thatcher without raising an eyebrow. Each of the stories mentioned here could make an incredibly poignant ad, but when all thrown together, the effect is disjointed and thus diluted.
2) Terrible music choice. Setting the spot to Sara Bareilles’ “Brave” makes it seem almost whimsical, and the lyrics interfere with the words spoken by our cast of brave women. Contrast this with the latest Apple ad, where soaring instrumentals really evoke some gravitas.
3) Non-inclusive. “Celebrating the women of 2013” leaves out half of the population and their relationship to the message. At Miss Representation we like to say “You can’t be what you can’t see.” Simply leading with images of these inspirational women would have been incredibly powerful without hitting the audience over the head: “Hey, LOOK! They’re all FEMALE!”
4) Cynical. This is the kicker. Tina Fey said last night “We’re hosting the Golden Globes for the second time, because this is Hollywood and if something kind of works they’ll just keep doing it until everybody hates it.” This ad seems to want to latch onto feminism as a fad rather than connect back to the simple desire for progress. I’m almost surprised there was no #girlpower tag flashed at the end of it.
I wish the campaign had made one really high-production TV spot focused on one story (I’d vote Malala, but that’s just me), then pointed to the URL housing exclusive webisodes featuring the others. What are your thoughts?