A Super Bowl ad challenging gender stereotypes was aired during Super Bowl Sunday. The 1-minute clip, in which a cast of men, women, a boy and girls are asked to perform different physical tasks “like a girl,” is part of a campaign by Always, the Procter & Gamble Co.'s brand of feminine hygiene products. But the popular ad, which originally debuted as a longer online clip last June, had been criticized for being “emotionally exploitative,” a Daily Beast critic said.
When asked, the adults and the young boy in the ad show how girls would run, throw and fight in unflattering ways. At the end of the commercial, a group of girls shows how to run fast and throw punches with force. The words “Join us to champion girls’ confidence at Always.com” at the end of the shortened clip encourage viewers to continue the conversation. The clip also aired after pop singer Katy Perry performed the Super Bowl halftime show. Here’s the Super Bowl version of the campaign:
"Since its launch, we have been overwhelmed by the support for the #LikeAGirl video and encouraged by the positive impact it has made so far. When people watch the video, we know it changes their perception of the phrase 'like a girl' -- and it makes a difference for girls' confidence," Fama Francisco, Always global vice president, said in a statement reported last week by AdWeek. "We feel so strongly about this that we're now taking this message to a bigger stage, the Super Bowl, so even more people can join us to champion girls' confidence and change the meaning of 'like a girl' from an insult into something positive and amazing."
The Procter & Gamble brand did more than re-release the video. Always commissioned a study of the ad and found 76 percent of young women ages 16 to 24 who viewed the clip no longer saw "like a girl" as an insult, AdWeek reported. The study also found two in three men said they would reconsider their own use of the phrase as an insult.