Letting young girls choose the message

The Canadian Women's Foundation celebrated the International Day of the Girl by letting the segment choose what will appear in its next campaign.

The Canadian Women’s Foundation is flipping the script on its next advertising campaign and letting its target group of girls aged nine to 13 choose the messages that will be displayed.

The campaign, called #GirlPowered, officially started yesterday on International Day of the Girl. Rather than have the agency teams (in-house media, creative done by Havas) choose the messaging, the campaign asks girls to share their own positive copy like “I don’t listen to limits” and “be strong and don’t hold back,” to help build confidence and self-esteem.

The goal, said Sarah Ruddle, director of marketing, Canadian Women’s Foundation, is to empower girls to take control of the negative ads they see, and also to put a positive spin on them.

“We haven’t been able to do something like this before, with girls contributing directly to the content of the campaign,” she said. “It’s a campaign by girls, not by an agency.”

Havas organized a live interactive event at Yonge-Dundas Square to kick off the push. Girls there were asked to post a message they would like to share with others, and as each girl gave her answer the ideas were shared in real-time on a billboard behind them.

A video showing the girls sharing their live positive messages and reactions to them being broadcasted on the big screen will air on donated media space from Rogers Media as well as on TV with spots running on Corus and Rogers channels.

The spots encourage viewers to visit Girlpowered.ca, where girls are encouraged to post slogans of their own. A “girl council” of Canadian girls aged nine to 13 will choose the messages that will run in the campaign in early 2017.

Spots driving girls to contribute to the campaign will run through the end of 2016. The campaign using the messages will go live in early 2017, said Ruddle.