How Mindshare are Changing Gender Stereotypes in Advertising

Marketing visionaries that are driving change through digital channels are hitting the stage this May at Engage Prague 2017. Among them are Anne Ingevold from Mindshare Denmark, the advertising agency behind Unilever’s revolutionary campaign, “Image_Hack.”

How Mindshare are Changing Gender Stereotypes in Advertising

For years, Dove has used their advertising and media space to help shape realistic body expectations for women. Though Dove has recognized the importance of media’s role in fighting stereotypes and increasing self-esteem in women – not all brands and agencies have caught on.

According to the The Dove Global Beauty and Confidence Report, women’s body-esteem is on the decline. Findings indicated that 68% of women feel that they aren’t able to identify with images they seen in ads. When observing typical mass produced images that portray the “ideal woman”, this of course comes as no surprise. These images are far from scarce and depict female bodies that are not only rare – but often unachievable.

That’s where Mindshare Denmark comes in. Partnering up with Unilever, Dove’s parent company, the advertising agency sought to make a change from the inside out. They created “Image_Hack,” a campaign that was executed primarily on Shutterstock, one of the largest stock photography databases and one used frequently by advertisers.

When browsing through the available images, it became apparent that there was too little diversity in how women were represented. Mindshare collaborated with 5 award-winning photographers to create an extensive portfolio of professional photos featuring women in non-stereotypical roles and powerful poses.

Mindshare was able to upload the less-than-stereotypical pictures of women created for the campaign with tags like “beautiful woman” and “real woman,” to combat stereotypes and give these words a new meaning. Thousands of photographers around the world joined in, and began to upload their own images of women.

To take the campaign a step further, Mindshare targeted creative agencies through outdoor ads placed in close proximity to their offices, asking them to join the cause. Soon advertisers from all over Denmark began to show their support, through their own outdoor ads that featured the newly available pictures, with the hashtag #equalwomen. 

The initiative was a huge success, reaching international audiences outside of the small Denmark market. Well-known publications like AdWeek and Adforum tipped their hats to the campaign which helped draw even more publicity and opportunities for #equalwomen content to be shared over social media.

Even Dove instantly became a hot topic on Twitter after the campaign went live, receiving an average of 260 mentions from other Pages a day from April 9th – April 27th, 2017. This shows the content of the campaign was largely resonating with the exact audiences they sought to target.



Mindshare is an award winning advertising agency, spanning across 116 global cities. Through their creativity and original thinking, they have been able to grow businesses and build brands. Mindshare is known for keeping their finger on the pulse of new media, incorporating an array of different channels into their marketing strategies.

This May, join Anne Ingevold from Mindshare and many other marketing professionals will be spilling their social media secrets and sharing their social media mastery at Engage Prague. Hear the full story of Mindshare Denmark’s campaign at the biggest social media conference in Europe! Get your tickets to Engage now and learn how you can use the power of digital to drive change through social. 

Social Media Marketing Manager

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