scientific conference of lau
Title How Brands Promote Feminist Ideas (Case Studies of Gillette and Reebok Promotional Campaigns)
Author Yulia V. Arkhipova
About the author
DOI 10.35853/UfH-RMP-2019-J06
Section Journalism, Advertising & Public Relations
Year Index UDK 659:396.1 Pages 346–354
Abstract The paper explores how contemporary advertising communication employs and actively promotes the ideas of feminism. Global brands perform the functions of mentoring and socio-cultural regulation, try to change social establishment and defend the idea of gender equality. This is related to changes in the marketing strategy – recognizing women as an active consumer segment in the category of commodities traditionally designed for men. A shift in marketing was followed by changes in the ideological paradigm. In their new advertising communication, Gillette and Reebok abandoned masculinity and established the female perspective – presented the male ideal through women’s eyes and allowed the woman to see herself through her own eyes, not men’s eyes. This way, both brands raised the issue of gender equality and offered the global public to discuss it in the reverse communication format – on official websites and social media. This research aims to track how advertisement can change social and cultural attitudes. Discourse analysis was selected as the main research method. Using a variety of verbal and visual semiotic units, advertisement builds a media reality that reacts to changes in social and cultural life very sensitively. Posting advertising messages on interactive venues turns the consumer into an active participant of the sense-making process and also makes them complicit in socio-cultural changes.
  • feminism
  • social attitudes
  • gender stereotypes
  • advertising communication
  • reverse communication
For citation Arkhipova YuV. How Brands Promote Feminist Ideas (Case Studies of Gillette and Reebok Promotional Campaigns). In: Zaks LA, Semitko AP, Mitsek SA, et al. (еds.) Russian Man and Power in the Context of Dramatic Changes in Today’s World: Collection of academic papers from the 21st Russian scientific-practical conference (with international participation) (Yekaterinburg, April 12–13, 2019). Yekaterinburg: Liberal Arts University – University for Humanities; 2019. p. 346–354. Available from: doi:10.35853/UfHRMP-2019-J06.
License Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Article language russian
  • 1. Barro J. «Kto takaya Gillette, chtoby uchit’ menya zhizni»: pochemu provalilas’ reklama brenda o vrede maskulinnosti [Who is Gillette to Teach Me Life: Why Brand’s Advertisement on Harm of Masculinity Failed]. Website. 16.01.2019. Available from: [Accessed 12.03.2019]. (In Russ.).
  • 2. Berger J. Iskusstvo videt’ [Ways of Seeing]. Saint Petersburg: Klaudberri; 2012. 182 p. (In Russ.).
  • 3. Brandt GA. Priroda zhenshchiny kak problema (kontseptsii feminizma) [Woman’s Nature as a Problem (Concepts of Feminism)]. Obshchestvennye nauki i sovremennost’ = Social Sciences and Contemporaneity. 1998;2: 167–180. (In Russ.).
  • 4. website. Brand Analitics otsenil reaktsiyu pol’zovatelei na skandal s Reebok [Brand Analytics Assessed Users’ Reaction to Reebok Scandal]. 08.02.2019. Available from: [Accessed 12.03.2019]. (In Russ.).
  • 5. Gerasimov М. 5 urokov skandala s Reebok: chto dolzhny znat’ brendy i agentstva [5 Lessons from Reebok Scandal: What Brands and Agencies Should Know]. Website. 08.02.2019. Available from: medium=internal_link&utm_campaign=in_focus [Accessed 12.03.2019]. (In Russ.).
  • 6. Koroleva AN, Nechaeva VА. Novaya zhenstvennost’ ili Feminizm segodnya [New Femininity or Feminism Today]. Sovremennye problemy sotsial’no-gumanitarnykh nauk = Contemporary Problems of Social Sciences and Humanities. 2016;6(8): 60–63. (In Russ.).
  • 7. Lopatina АА. Feminizm kak obshchestvenno-politicheskoe yavlenie sovremennoi zhizni [Feminism as a Social and Political Phenomenon of Contemporary Life]. Alleya nauki = Science Alley. 2018;7(6): 943–946. (In Russ.).
  • 8. Muslumova TV. Feminizm: istoki, etapy razvitiya i osnovnye napravleniya [Feminism: Origins, Development Stages and Major Trends]. Vestnik Shadrinskogo gosudarstvennogo pedagogicheskogo institute = Shadrinsk State Pedagogical University Bulletin. 2015;4(28): 114–120. (In Russ.).
  • 9. Rubantsova ТА. Filosofiya feminizma i kul’tura [Philosophy of Feminism and Culture]. Vestnik Omskogo universiteta = Omsk University Bulletin. 1998;4: 35–38. (In Russ.).
  • 10. Savina А. Moda na femvertaizing: Chto ne tak s feministskoi reklamoi [Femvertising Fashion: What is Wrong with Feminist Advertising]. Wonder. Website. 13.02.2019. Available from: [Accessed 15.03.2019]. (In Russ.).
  • 11. Alcoff L. Cultural Feminism versus Post-Structuralism: The Identity Crisis in Feminist Theory. Signs. 1988;13(3): 405–436.
  • 12. John-Steiner V. Sociocultural and Feminist Theory: Mutuality and relevance. In: Chaiklin S, Hedegaard M, Jensen UJ. (eds.) Activity theory and social practice: Cultural-historical approaches. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press; 1999. Ch. 11.
Submitted 01.07.2019
Accepted 19.09.2019