Well, what have we here? A campaign of top achievers – and none of them are women. You know I had to point that out, right?
Meet the Play heroes. The cleverly crafted slogan reads: "The success stories of the few who play outside the ordinary. Follow their journeys fuelled by PowerPlay."
It's a great concept.
• Yes! Let's highlight our countries top achievers - the people who have spent endless hours working at their craft and applying their insight to their workplace and businesses.
• Yes! Let's focus on the great stories of normal people who have displayed determination and focus – and managed to reap amazing results.
• Yes! Let's all give a round of applause to those who were proactive and made a plan to move ahead in life.
• And hell yes, let's talk about how they held onto their vision, tackled the challenges that they faced and reaped rewards.
It's an amazingly clever campaign.
But... wait… Let's make them all (black) men! Ta da dish! Concept sold. *Queue the shoulder clapping*
Now as a young woman who aspires to great success this ad made me feel a bit alienated. Maybe it shouldn't have, but yeah, it did. Why can't women be some "of the few who play outside the ordinary?"
Once again, mass media seems to have overlooked women who work just as hard as men. Those women simply don't get their voices heard and it is frustrating. And it is aggravating, that there are so many female top achievers (and not just in charity, thank you love) who are constantly overlooked. And it is damn infuriating that the uphill battle (because really, in the professional and business sphere, it still IS a battle) women face, is ignored by brands such as Play Energy. They send their message into the world, and the message does not represent the actual picture.
I guess that Play Energy Drink is focusing on a particular target market. Fair enough.
But then the company shouldn't tweet: "We chose #PlayHeroes because they represent our brand, we are always on the constant lookout for anyone new, both male and female." What the… what?!
Brands often come up with wordy press releases about just how “inclusive” they are. So where's the action? When will brands stop using boobs and start using women in their advertising? Until they do, we have a duty to keep asking the hard questions that will make a lot of you roll your eyes. Because change isn’t about lip-service. It’s about the way we perceive the world around us, reflect our viewpoints and act on that.
I would also have liked to tackle the race issues in the campaign but I’m sure our readers will do a fine job of pouncing on that aspect in the comments below.
Click here to read Power Play’s official response.
I’d like to see them actually put it into practice.
For another view on this topic, read Zama Ndlovu's column.
Follow Kele on Twitter.
Not including women in this campaign…
By: Kele Scheppers