Thursday, 15 January 2009

Muffragette marketing

Muffragette is a trend I coined in my Future Lab days when combining the words 'muff' and 'suffragette' = my week's work done (if only it was that easy in other jobs!). Muffragettes are the rise of a new breed of post-feminists who are pro-men, women and Agent Provocateur. It's women's rights with cocktails. 

One of the key insights about this group is that they have a paradoxical relationship with women's rights. They enjoy and feel obliged to be sassy independents who are not defined by men whilst still seeing marriage as the gold standard and hankering after that ring on their finger eventually. It's this nuanced planning insight that De Beers tapped into with their just brilliant 'Raise Your Right Hand' campaign. Big thanks to Sarah Musgrave, one of my mentors, for highlighting this campaign to me! I know everyone raves about Dove's 'Real Beauty' but I think this is far superior in insight and execution. L'Oreal's 'Because I'm Worth It' is also text-book Muffragette and female marketing I reckon.

Anyway, DeBeers wanted to tap into new target markets and had created a 'right-hand ring' aimed at convincing women they could buy their own diamonds rather than wait for a man. Their agency JWT in the US created a campaign to shift the perception amongst women that diamonds were about romance and male validation, and instead fashion and self-validation. Print ads featured fashion models wearing the right-hand rings which were placed in mags such as Elle and Vogue. The manifesto-like but not militant supporting copy statements included: 

"Your left hand says 'we'. Your right hand says 'me'. Your left hand likes to be held. Your right hand likes to be held high. Your left hand is your heart. Your right hand is your voice. Your left hand lives for love. Your right hand lives for the moment." Each ad included the call to action, politically-charged tagline: "Women of the world, raise your right hand."

The campaign was a commercial and cultural success winning a Gold EFFIE in 2005 for among other things achieving 39% awareness of the right-hand ring and boosting non-bridal ring sales by 15%. Right-hand rings became a Sex and the city-like style and political statement, and were also worn by said stars and featured at New York Fashion Week.

No comments: