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Eliminating outdated gender stereotypes in our advertising

#Unstereotype and the Unstereotype Alliance – Changing Mindsets

Unstereotype alliance flag

Gender identity is changing and our advertising has not changed enough – up until now. We've listened to consumers and looked at the way we portray gender in our advertising and realised we need to do things differently.

We understand that by using our influence responsibly, we can contribute to positive cultural change as well as making better connections with people through our advertising. That's why we've asked every one of our brands to challenge itself to move away from unhelpful stereotypical portrayals of gender, especially for women, and to deliver fresh campaigns that are more relevant to today’s consumer.

#Unstereotype is Unilever’s global commitment to shift advertising away from stereotypical portrayals of gender, across our own brands and the industry as a whole, and was launched in 2016.

In June 2017 we took this a step further by, partnering with UN Women to launch the Unstereotype Alliance – a new global alliance of industry leaders set to banish stereotypical portrayals of gender in advertising and all brand led content. Since 2017, the Alliance has been embraced by businesses and organisations who have been champions of addressing gender bias in the industry. Members include ANA, AT&T, Alibaba, Cannes Lions, Diageo, facebook, Geena Davis Institute, Google, IPG, IPA, Johnson & Johnson, Mars, Mattel, Microsoft, P&G, Publicis, Twitter, The Female Quotient, UN Women, World Federation of Advertisers and WPP.

The first Unstereotype Alliance event took place at The Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity and it aims to expand beyond its founding members and generate momentum across industries.

Continental and Lynx – leading the way

Traditional gender roles around food preparation have blurred, and cooking has become much more inclusive and on trend. Continental is about great food and flavour – neither of which are gender-specific insights.

In Australia, our Continental brand led the way with their ‘Love At First Taste’ campaign, showing that food and cooking are pleasures everyone can enjoy, regardless of gender. This echoed the global Knorr campaign which wanted to reflect and lead this changing face of cooking globally and, by doing so, be relevant, inspirational and progressive.

The Love at First Taste campaign moved away from showcasing ‘mum’ cooking and being the ‘meal provider’. Instead, it appealed to millennials on their terms – through a shared love of cooking – by portraying men and women cooking for each other.

In New Zealand, Lynx challenges traditional notions of masculinity with their #FindYourMagic campaign which encourages men to find what makes them unique because the most attractive men they can be is themselves.

Find out more about how we’re also improving self-esteem and wellbeing through the Dove Self-Esteem Program.

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