What do you do like a girl?

By Annabelle Olivier

Today we’re going to talk about periods, sort of – and I don’t mean punctuation. I mean that thing that happens to women once a month for most of their lives.

As if just getting your period weren’t bad enough, women have also been subjected to some of the most ridiculous marketing campaigns ever concocted.  Yes I know, men have been subjected to them as well.

Slowly though, feminine hygiene brands have been coming around and some brands have even been able to poke fun at themselves, injecting some much needed humour into their ads.

WATCH: UbyKotex – Reality check

The Kotex ad you just saw was funny but the campaign I would like to draw your attention to is the Always  #LikeAGirl campaign,  that launched in June 2014.

At the core of the campaign is a YouTube video by award-winning director Lauren Greenfield.

The video starts with a question: What does it mean to do something like a girl?

Without watching the video most people already know that if someone tells you: “you run like a girl,” it’s meant as a slight.

So the next question in the video becomes when did doing something “like a girl” become an insult?

By the end of the video, Always hopes that you will join them in making the words “like a girl” mean something awesome and in the process help boost girls’ self-confidence.

Whoa! That’s a pretty lofty goal.

Haven’t seen the video?

WATCH IT HERE:  Always #LikeAGirl

So how did they do?

Judging by the number of times the video has been viewed on YouTube – over 53 million views the last time I checked – I’d say they’ve done quite well. Compare that to the 1,635,668 views for the humorous Kotex video and keep in mind that the Kotex video has been up on  YouTube for over four years now.

According to Mashable,   the #LikeAGirl video garnered 1,482,633 social media shares thus ranking 7th in the top 20 most-shared ads of 2014.

Has Always really achieved the goal of turning around the meaning of the phrase doing something “like a girl?”

Maybe not completely,  but by creating the hashtag “LikeAGirl” and promoting the campaign through Facebook, Instagram, Vine and of course Twitter , they have certainly created an impactful conversation, which for the most part has been inspirational.

There are 35, 000 comments on YouTube alone and these Tweets are from November 28, 2014.


It seems incredible in today’s world of information overload and short attention spans, that people are still tweeting about it, 5 months after the campaign launched

The fact that the ad prioritizes engagement over advertising is also key in conveying the brand’s message and ensuring the brand acquires a few new fans along the way.

like a girl FACEBook
Ashton Courtney’s comment on the #LikeAGirl Facebook fan page regarding the #LikeAGirl Youtube video.


While the concern for girls’ welfare may very well be at the core of the Always campaign, the strategic intent behind the video was not solely to kick-off a clever social experiment,  but to build brand awareness and loyalty.

An online article in Advertising Age states that feminine hygiene products is a category with high loyalty rates, where women often stay with the brand they started using as girls. It makes sense then, that the Always brand would  initiate a conversation that would resonate with women and speak to young girls in particular, in order to achieve that goal.

Bravo Always, on a job well done.


6 thoughts on “What do you do like a girl?

  1. Marie-Noëlle

    Great stuff Annabelle! Love this campaign! Very clever, and the results speak for themselves. I would not be surprised that the campaign gets a second wind in the wake of Emma Watson’s UN speech, and the beenrapedneverreported movement. Women’s empowerment and self-confidence is a widespread and deep conversation these days.


  2. I actually tweeted about the #LikeAGirl on my twitter! I thought that was such a great video because it drew parallels to the fact that “Like A Girl” is seen as an insult. I harken that also to how people say “That’s so gay” when they really mean “That’s so stupid.” I was really touched by that #LikeAGirl campaign.


  3. Marc Roth

    I’m going to play devils advocate, so forgive me! I love the message of the campaign, but I have always had an issue with huge companies like P&G assuming they are suddenly the flag bearer for womens equality. The link from tampons to equality is too far for me, similarly to the natural beauty campaign that Dove ran (by equally huge competitor Unilever) which equates that their soap is part of making all women feel good about their bodies. Great message? Yes. Share-able and likely a success in terms of reach? Yes. But not sure if the link from social engineering to buying a particular brand works. Just my observation from a guy clearly not in the target demographic 🙂

    Some additional reading:


    1. A colleague of mine wrote an interesting article where she also raises some of the same issues raised in the Daily Beast link you shared. One of the people she interviewed even questioned the ethics of such a campaign. “What troubles me is that we are coupling consumption with empowerment through brands, re-enforcing and confusing worthiness through products,” she said. The quote goes on…“What world do we live in where the mental health of girls is taken up by corporate opportunity and profit?
      “Generating this conversation through product promotion is a real insult to women and girls. Poor us, we need corporate marketing to teach us self worth… I thought the article raised some interesting points but for me personally I didn’t really care what they were selling. I just thought it was a good conversation starter and the conversation needs to start somewhere.
      Did it sell more tampons? I don’t know, but it sure did generate brand awareness.


  4. I totally agree with you Annabelle. I actually don’t mind corporate marketing helps promoting women empowerment while gaining lots of brownie points on their brand awareness side. We all live in a consumption world so it’s great to see such large corporations are able to address girls issues in such a way. We are not naive about their intent but in 2014, girls and women still have a long way to go! Being the mom of a teenage girl makes me appreciate the campaign even more!
    By Karina


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