Born out of Verizon’s work to encourage children to become interested in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), this new ad spot does a really good job of showing us how the language we use when we speak to girls, in particular, can impact the choices they make.
You see a young girl engaging in all types of adventures at different stages in her life (wading in a stream, exploring nature, crafting a glittery solar system, using a drill to build a rocket). Each scene is punctuated by the voices of her mom or dad saying things like, “who’s my pretty girl,” “sweetie, don’t get your dress dirty,” “why don’t you hand it to your brother.”
While they sound like harmless/protective parental comments, the ad’s point is to show you that they may not be and, in fact, hold a lot of weight. According to Adweek, “The campaign was born out of research that shows there’s a significant drop-off in women interested in these fields between childhood and adulthood.”
The woman delivering the main voice over is Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani, a rock star STEM role model for girls everywhere. She closes the spot by saying, “Our words can have a huge impact. Isn’t it time we told her she’s pretty brilliant, too?”
YES, it is… because she’s not JUST pretty.
PS – The folks who created the ad have taken the message and mission one step further, which Adweek explains:
AKQA also serves up an online site featuring a Choose Your Own Adventure edge: If you swipe right on the young girls’ pictures, you can see choices that inspire them to take initiative and work in their chosen field; if you swipe left, you see how pressure to stick to the gender norms (read: girly) had them abandon those pursuits.