When I first knew I wanted kids, I never had a preference on whether or not I wanted a girl or a boy. I have one sister and two brothers so I know what’s it like to have both in the household. I’ve never once wished for one sex more than the other and if science ever let us choose the sex of our baby, I still think I would let my body decide for itself.
I am due to give birth to my second daughter in early March and I couldn’t be more excited. Apparently my excitement over a baby girl is not as common as excitement over a boy. Why? Because 54% of American couples would prefer to have a boy rather than a girl.
With the desire to have a boy still disturbingly high in America as well as Asia, Fast Company writer Anya Kamenetz, who is expecting a girl herself, created an experiment and asked some top advertising, marketing, branding, and digital agencies to create ads persuading global consumers that girls should be desired just as much, if not more than boys. Kamenetz brings up a thoughtful question; Could the world really be persuaded to prefer a girl?
This ad, created by Leo Burnett, a legendary ad agency in Chicago, was targeted towards U.S. women and men. They named this campaign the “Accidental Daughters” and used humor with female comedian Amy Poheler.
This ad created by 72andSunny, out of Los Angeles and Amsterdam targeted younger males. The company stated “with cheeky fake blurbs, this campaign appeals to would-be dads by hyping baby girls as the “high-performance” child. The downloadable configurator app borrows from popular high-performance automobile apps. Your girl as a souped-up Mustang–that’s an equation a guy can love.”
The ad featured at the top of this post, created by Cramer-Krasselt, a Chicago based company, targets U.S. couples and puts forward negative facts about raising girls, insinuating that girls are far easier to raise.
A total of nine companies participated in the mock campaign (you can view the rest of their ads here) and each took their job very seriously.
“As we tried to understand the issue better,” says Rei Inamoto from the ad agency AKQA, told Fast Company “we realized that this is not an issue of daughters versus sons. It’s an issue of the self-perpetuating and devastating belief that women have little value.”
But why is it that the world views women in such a negative way when compared to men? It’s true women have made great strides throughout history, but are these statistics telling us that we still have a long way to go?
I only hope that my daughters don’t grow up in a world thinking that they are inferior to men. I’d never want them to think that I would have much rather preferred two boys over them.
Kamenetz ends her story with a promise that I hope to fulfill with my daughters. “My daughter will be brought up to understand her true value. That’s a promise.” She continues to say, “As for all the little girls to be born around the world, the creation of these ads is an effort to show how imagination can change the conversation around their lives.”
So could these “fake” ads really change the way the world thinks about girls?
Photo via Fast Company
No Boys Allowed: I wanted a daughter, but instead got a son