Brands respond to the #MeToo movement

A look at brands over the Internet making a conversation around sexual harassment, consent and more

by Misbaah Mansuri
Published - Oct 23, 2018 8:54 AM Updated: Oct 23, 2018 8:54 AM
Brands MeToo condom

Who knew that two simple words 'me too' would have provided a clarion call for thousands of women to come forward on social media and open up stories of sexual harassment they suffered compelling reams of men in powerful positions to step down and apologise. The movement has transformed things to an extent that brands over the Internet are now making a conversation around sexual harassment, consent and more.

Among these is condom brand, Durex, who recently published a social media creative titled ‘Before you even think about it, get CONSENT’, and used the hashtag #TimesUp to create awareness. Another condom brand Manforce also published a creative which read – ‘Dear Men, mend your ways! Top 10 Things that men must understand – 1. NO MEANS NO’, the following nine points mention the same points repeatedly. Another creative by Manforce reads, ‘Don't think twice before speaking up against evil #MeToo’.

 

 

 

Popular condom brand, Trojan and Advocates for Youth, a national non-profit that also helped educate young people about sexual and reproductive health, teamed up to help spread consent culture with their ‘Consent. Ask For It’ campaign. The campaign consisted of on-campus events at over 100 colleges around the US, complete with an activist toolkit, posters, giveaways, and free Trojan Brand Condoms. They had student advocates around the country answering questions and running events to get the conversation about consent going.

 

Twitter had bought its first-ever ad during the Oscars, with a spot airing during the telecast tying its brand to a message of female empowerment — an implicit response to Hollywood’s recent sexual harassment scandals. The 60-second spot promotes the hashtag #HereWeAre. The idea Twitter wanted to get across to Oscars viewers: Its platform can serve to elevate and amplify “underserved” voices. So it’s amazing how #MeToo germinated and went viral on the social network.

 

While some are championing the #MeToo cause right, some other brands over the Internet tried cashing on it and seem to have failed miserably. Property website Zoopla had to apologise after its latest ad campaign which ran an ad that features a line of crabs all replying "me too" to another crab saying, "I’m selling my house on Zoopla" and another crab saying "copy crabs".

The makeup company Hard Candy also ended up withdrawing an application to trademark #MeToo for the purpose of cosmetics just a day after TMZ reported on the application. Even though the company later said it intended to donate the revenue, the branding didn't go well with customers.

These brands aren’t the only ones to commercialise the #metoo movement. If reports are to be believed, there are pendants engraved with #metoo available on Etsy, while "me too" T-shirts are widely available online, with no apparent link to any official fundraising cause or advocacy group. Whether brands will be able to champion the #MeToo cause right without cashing on it is one question that still remains to be answered.
 

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