Leaving clichés behind
A pink-colored globe specially for girls, “man size” tissues or gherkins in a jar, with pink and blue stickers dividing them according to gender – such curious excesses of gender marketing encounter us in every area of the consumer world. Rather than finding new, sensible forms, advertising strategists continue to focus on copying backward looking, stereotyped imagery that has little in common with reality. This discriminating everyday world highlights how important gender-sensitive design is that is directed against old-fashioned clichés and outdated role models.
The International Gender Design Network/IGDN supports advertising strategies that adopt creative and contemporary concepts and approaches. On 12 October the “iphiGenia Gender Design Award” will be bestowed for the first time in the Museum of Applied Arts in Cologne. In the “Evolution” category the New York company “Thinx” came out top for conceiving menstruation panties as a sustainable alternative to menstruation cups, tampons and sanitary towels. With an attractive design in black, a large selection of panty models and a creative advertising strategy the company succeeds in promoting its product without resorting to blue fluids and coy seeming slogans. The winner in the “Revolution” category is the “Mindshare Denmark” agency with its Image Hack campaign challenging the stereotypical imagery associated with women. Normally the advertising industry projects a perfect image of women: pretty, smartly dressed, with perfect make up and gently billowing locks. Mindshare counteracts this biased depiction by presenting realistic photos of strong, confident women and girls, who are successful in their careers or sports, and like to be assigned the male role model: In an auto repair shop, playing soccer, doing kick boxing, hunting or as a camera woman. These gender-empathetic images were uploaded onto the digital image service “Shutterstock”.
iphiGenia Gender Design Award
Official award ceremony: 12 October 2017, 7 p.m.
Cologne Museum of Modern Arts (MAKK)