“I’m a fabulous, awesome black woman – I have never played a role like that”. To find out who said this and why, you’re going to need to invest two minutes and 15 seconds
And it’s worth spending your time on this thought-provoking campaign, which sees real actors brought into a studio to film a regular commercial – or so they thought… Watch how the situation unfolds here:
Even if you’ve never been near an audition in your life, odds are you know somebody who has, or are aware of the flaming hoops actors are required to go through to secure a role in a fiercely competitive profession that’s notorious for its under-employment.
It’s not only women who suffer stereotyping in this twist-in-the-tail campaign: physical appearance, race, and the other gender – men – also come into play as casting factors.
Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has announced a new measure to tackle gender stereotyping which will be implemented in June this year for a six-month assessment period. It aims to do away with any ads that present stereotyping “in a way that is likely to do harm.” For example, it will apparently be okay to portray a woman cleaning, but not while a man is slobbing around in a chair while she does it – note the ‘useless dad’ stereotype in this campaign.
The ad’s by the Unstereotype Alliance, which was set up in 2017 by big names including Google, Unilever, Facebook, Mars and Microsoft to “banish stereotypical portrayals of gender in advertising and all brand led content.”
Called “the problem is not seeing the problem”, this film calls on the industry to take a deeper look to recognize the problem of stereotypes, as a first step to eliminating them.
Do you think it’s a useful move towards better awareness in an industry that’s struggled with stereotypes while reflecting popular culture, or just the advertising industry spiralling around inside a hot topic?
Read next: 12 Questions With Dan Knowlton
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