J. WALTER THOMPSON HONG KONG, Hong Kong / THE WOMEN'S FOUNDATION LIMITED / 2017
We built our campaign around a popular Cantonese phrase that neatly and uniquely encapsulates the whole issue. In Hong Kong, the most widely used term for a cleavage is "Si Yip Sin", meaning ‘career line’, a phrase which associates a woman’s success with her appearance rather than her education, talent and drive. This not only devalues women’s achievements, but makes sexism more permissible in the workplace.
Our idea was to challenge the use of casual sexism and celebrate the real drivers behind a woman’s success, by redefining what a ‘career line’ really meant and launching the #MyRealCareerLine campaign.
We partnered with an Olympic Swimmer, a YouTuber, an artist, an entrepreneur, a top lawyer, a Snooker World Champion, a student and others, who shared the real reasons for their success (determination, creativity, passion etc), before ripping up a ‘career line’ poster and encouraging the public to do the same.
For phase one, to highlight the problem with everyday sexism such as ‘career line’, we set up the (fake) Career Line Cosmetic Surgery. We created Facebook ads based on online quotes from recruiters and the media about how a more prominent ‘career line’ could boost your career prospects. These were targeted at women with an interest in women’s rights and provoked the outraged reaction we’d hoped for.
Then, on International Women’s Day, The Women’s Foundation held a press conference revealing the real reason for the campaign and the #MyRealCareerLine message. Our film featured some of Hong Kong’s most famous female icons sharing the real reasons for their success before tearing up our ‘career line’ poster. On our website, people could create their own #MyRealCareerLine messages and share them on Facebook. Tatler also provided a free ‘rip-able’ insert while Facebook, LinkedIn, Marie Claire and others offered free media support.
On a very limited budget, the campaign got over 900 million unpaid media and social impressions. The people of Hong Kong showed their support by sharing the film on Facebook and/or creating their own #MyRealCareerLine images, videos and messages. Politicians, newspaper editors, and other high profile celebrities, CEOs and bloggers shared videos of themselves ripping up the ‘career line’ poster and declaring their support. While media companies, student bodies and many of Hong Kong’s biggest employers also released group videos promoting our message. Even the city’s most popular website, who had previously uploaded three or four ‘career line’ videos a day, got behind the campaign. And the week after the launch, the South China Morning Post released a statement in which they apologised for a recent article that objectified women and announced they were reviewing their editorial policy.
JOE PUBLIC, Johannesburg
2018, PEOPLE OPPOSING WOMAN ABUSE (POWA)
J. WALTER THOMPSON HONG KONG, Hong Kong
2017, THE WOMEN'S FOUNDATION LIMITED
McCANN MADRID, Madrid
2015, REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERS