Adverts that are gender-positive and empowering for women are more positively received than those promoting sex appeal, according to research from Facebook IQ. A survey of 1,547 US respondents over the age of 18 found that people reacted 8-10% more positively towards gender-positive ads.
48% of respondents said they felt more loyal toward a brand that promoted gender equality, whilst 51% of women and 45% of men were also more likely to make a purchase from such a brand.
For gender equality promoting brands those numbers were even higher. 79% of women and 75% of men said they felt more positive toward a brand if it promoted gender equality.
Additionally, women were also 1.85 times more likely to want to view a movie trailer that featured a woman as a firefighter versus a trailer with a woman wearing revealing clothes. No difference was found in men.
The survey also showed that 75% of women believe that the most important thing for brands to do are promote gender equality and retire the image of women as sex symbols.
Indeed, brands which were already celebrating female athleticism or encouraged girls to study STEM subjects overall received more positive feedback and engagements.
The report concludes:
Marketing doesn’t just reflect culture – it shapes it. Contribute to social good and capture consumers’ attention by busting stereotypes and promoting positive, empowering depictions of people of all genders.
Facebook recommends that marketers steer clear of gender stereotypes and focus on empowerment instead.