It's takes a brilliant mind and a particular breed of creativity to take a sanitary pad advert and turn it into an empowering global movement for young women. Last year, Lauren Greenfield launched Always' #LikeAGirl campaign. To date, the three minute advert has been watched by 90 million people, generated 12 billion impressions and has just won a Cannes Lions' Grand Prix award.
If you missed her first instalment, the clip opens with a question: 'What does it mean to do something "Like A Girl"?' For everyone over the age of about ten in the video, when Greenfield asks them to run, jump or throw #LikeAGirl, there's a predictable feebleness to their actions. They throw a make believe ball with the limpest hands you've ever seen.
When Greenfield poses the same question to younger girls, and asks them to act out the same actions, the results are powerful. Unaffected by any negative connotations around doing things #LikeAGirl, they run as fast as they can and fight with menace and power. Their innocence and enthusiasm is humbling.
"In my work as a documentarian,' said Greenfield, at the time of her first advert's release, 'I have witnessed the confidence crisis among girls and the negative impact of stereotypes first-hand. When the words 'like a girl' are used to mean something bad, it is profoundly disempowering. I am proud to partner with Always to shed light on how this simple phrase can have a significant and long-lasting impact on girls and women. I am excited to be a part of the movement to redefine 'like a girl' into a positive affirmation."
Yesterday the brand revealed its follow up effort at nine live summits around the globe. The new film sends the message that girls are #Unstoppable. This time around, Greenfield's tool is to get girls and young women to write their limitations on cardboard boxes, before asking them to destroy those darn boxes. There is something wonderful about a girl of no more than eight or nine, stamping on her 'Can't Be Brave' box, because 'boys are always the one who rescue someone in a book.'
Yesterday in London, at one of the nine live summits, Laverne Antrobus, a child psychologist, told the room, “Parents, teachers and society as a whole must be aware of how they speak to young girls. We need to nature talents and keep 'can do' in our narratives.”