What’s in a name?

Hershey is making good use of its own name for International Women’s Day, launching a campaign in Brazil that includes the creation of “Her” and “She” chocolate bars—with packaging celebrating great women musicians, illustrators and other artists.

“International Women’s Day is marked by the struggle of women for their rights,” says Ana Costa, HR director at Hershey Brazil. “Having this in mind is crucial when sharing experiences with our employees, to assure they know they’re working for a company that acknowledges their value and believes in their potential.”

Hershey says 52 percent of its leadership is female, including Michele Buck, global CEO.

Hershey is encouraging other women artists to share their work in social media. Posts tagged #HerShe and #HerSheGallery could have their posts shared by the brand.

Why it’s hot?
Great use of something that’s inherent in the brand to seamlessly become part of a hot topic in our culture. Unlike so many other brands that are making forced efforts to become part of this conversation related to equality and progress of women, guess Hershey got lucky with its name. But very surprised this has not been done before.

Source: Muse by Clio

How Women Spend Their Time

The OECD runs time-use surveys, to identify the ways women and men spend their time. It’s no surprise women do way more unpaid work than men, but what is surprising is that countries considered progressive still have significant differences in time spent doing things like chores and taking care of children.

Source: Quartz

“When it comes to time spent on well-being, including eating and drinking, sleeping, and personal care, the gap between the sexes is much smaller. Not surprisingly, French and Italian women and men spend a lot of time on how they look (it shows—they usually look great). French women take top marks for the daily time spent on personal care, with a whopping 113 minutes, compared with 70 minutes for American women.”

Why It’s Hot: 

  • Gathering and analysing this data can help quantify gender inequality issues. Understanding how and where we spend our time can help us find ways to balance the scale.


Condoms or IUD? Ask Tia…

Ask Tia is an iOS app designed to assist and inform women about reproductive and sexual health. Through personal, private text-based conversations, users can find the best birth control, get answers to sexual health questions, find doctors, and track periods and symptoms. It’s the first product from Tia, a company “for millennials by millennials” that aims to help women make informed healthcare decisions.


Building a trusting relationship with an app isn’t easy. Tia has prioritized personalizing the information for each user. Even a simple question about missing a birth control pill has several factors (type of pill, where in your cycle, etc.), which is why Tia’s guiding questions and personalized assessments so much more valuable than, say, a Google search.

“Our goal is to expand Tia to be your comprehensive go-to women’s health assistant for all of your health care information needs,” says Witte, Tia’s co-founder and CEO.


Why It’s Hot
Sexual health support made accessible through behavioral insight? Yes please.

Who programs the AI? (Not women or people of color)

You might assume that technology and AI are neutral forces in this world. The truth is, our technology is biased and created in the image of its creators – as Melinda Gates and Fei-Fei Li argue in this interview, these are “guys with hoodies.”

Have you ever?

  • Tried on an Oculus Rift to find that the hardware does not fit your facial profile?
  • Had face tracking software totally fail because it wasn’t programmed to register your traits (standard human features such as eyes, a nose, a mouth)?
  • Had voice assistants / voice recognition not understand you due to your accent or dialect? Perhaps the voice assistant straight up doesn’t speak your native language.

Consider: Her and Ex Machina, two recent and popular representations of AI in cinema, both of which represent AI, and its characters’ interactions with AI, from the point of view of male psychology and desire.

As Gates points out:
“If we don’t get women and people of color at the table — real technologists doing the real work — we will bias systems. Trying to reverse that a decade or two from now will be so much more difficult, if not close to impossible.”

The entire interview is worth a read

Together, Gates and Li are launching a national non-profit called AI4ALL, aimed at increasing the diversity of voices behind AI, and getting people of color and women educated in a field where they are highly underrepresented.

Why it’s hot:
AI has the potential to redefine our future. Where is the diversity of minds necessary to make it a future for ALL?

“Like a Girl” Campaign comes out with Phase 2 “Unstoppable”

Last summer Procter and Gamble’s Always created a “Like a Girl” ad where a diverse group of girls and young women were asked what it means to do something “like a girl.” The feminine products brand took this phrase and changed it to be an expression of strength, and it got a slot in the Super Bowl.

This next phase similarly features a group of girls and young women who instead talk about limitations as a result of social norms. They then kick and stand on cardboard boxes with the limitations and stereotypes written on them, symbolizing their strength against the restrictions they face as girls. The video also includes statistics about girl’s confidence and how they view societies standards.

Why It’s Hot

With over 25.4 million viewers on Fox watching the Women’s World Cup final this past Sunday (a record for any soccer game– men’s or women’s), and Facebook now making men and women equal in their new Friends icon, it is clear that now is a time where women’s empowerment and the ability for us to be seen as equals is prevalent in our society. I think this ad will resonate well viewers and stir up some emotions with their powerful message about confidence and power.

Read more about the Ad here.

New Necklace Helps Women in Emergency Situations

A new jewelry pendant called Stiletto can help women in scary situations. Equipped with a microphone, GPS, and memory to store one’s profile, the pendant can immediately communicate with law enforcement or loved ones. Women set up a profile with their personal info – height, hair color, eye color, photo – and a list of emergency contacts. When a woman presses the button on her pendant, 911 or her contacts are alerted. If she is unable to speak in the situation she’s in, the microphone and GPS is turned on, so that her situation is communicated to the necessary people.

Read more about Stiletto and other new self-defense products on Cosmopolitan.

Why It’s Hot | When Undercover Colors (a nailpolish that changed colors when dipped into a drink laced with date-rape drugs) came out, it received both praise and criticism. There is a fine line in women’s safety tools between helping women in scary situations and forcing women to be accountable for the actions of others. Some feel the time and energy spent making these tools would be better spent teaching better behavior to offenders. What’s different about Stiletto is that it doesn’t force a woman to be her own detective; rather, it merely acts as a communication device to alert others in the event that she is in danger.

Dove’s ‘Real Beauty’ Hits a Rough Patch

The brand’s latest “Campaign for Real Beauty” video, in which women are tricked into believing they’re wearing pharmaceutical patches that will make them feel more beautiful, is raising the ire of commentators in social and conventional media. Critics expressed outrage — saying that the study was much more about Dove branding than women’s self-esteem. Unilever, however, sees big viewership numbers and overwhelmingly positive social-media sentiment.

With 4.5 million views on YouTube alone over two days and 15 million globally via all channels by Unilever’s count — the “Patches” video from Ogilvy & Mather Brasil, Sao Paulo, is off to one of the strongest starts ever in the 10-year-old “Campaign for Real Beauty.”

Even beyond the outrage machine of social media, those critiques may have left an unsightly mark. “We see an initial down-trending with women for Dove on their buzz score,” said a spokesman for YouGov, which tracks brand sentiment in online surveys of 4,500 panelists daily. “It’s not dramatic at this point,” he added. “But so far, it’s definitely distinct.”  Yet social-media monitoring service Infegy, in an analysis done for Advertising Age, found the broader social-media sentiment toward “Patches” 91% favorable and only 9% negative among the 49% of 2,181 Twitter and Facebook posts that expressed sentiment during the first two days of the campaign. That’s similar to the 92%-positive sentiment Unilever found in its social-media tracking globally from more than 20,000 comments tracked by Radian6/Salesforce Marketing Cloud, said a spokeswoman from Dove’s PR firm, Edelman.


In the “Patches” video, women are portrayed as going from seeing no difference to feeling more confident about their looks, then laughing or crying as they discover the patch had no real ingredients. None are shown getting angry. “All the women who participated in the social experiment feel that it was an extremely positive experience that has empowered them to be far more confident about their beauty, inside and out,” said Steve Miles, Unilever’s senior VP-Dove, in a statement.

He said Dove created the “Patches” video “to intentionally provoke a debate about women’s relationship with beauty” given that 80% of women feel anxious about how they look and only 4% consider themselves beautiful

Why it’s hot:

Is this thinly-veiled capitalism from Dove or more evidence that women are easily tricked especially in the subject of beauty without consequences?  Or is this a lesson of true beauty from within and that inner confidence radiates outward?  No matter which side you’re on, this heated debate continues today (even after 10 years).