Dara Howell #LikeAGirl Always Campaign: Reverse Engineer a Social Media Post

Always #LikeAGirl Campaign featuring Dara Howell

My BYUI COMM 315 assignment was to Reverse Engineer, or take apart a campaign, and determine how it was designed, so that I can enhance or duplicate it.

What is the main purpose of the ad?

The purpose of Always’ #LikeAGirl campaign is to drive brand awareness among girls and young women, and influence them to think of Always as the brand they can count on for feminine hygiene needs.

What are the ad’s strengths?

There are several strengths to this ad:

1) they used a strong young woman, Olympic Gold Medalist skier Dara Howell in the ad, a positive role model for young women;

2) Howell’s celebrity and massive following on social media led to massive views;

3) the ad projects the idea that while being active (i.e. skiing) and in the public eye, Dana relies on Always—so you can too;

4) the copy, “What helped me overcome the fear of failure…” is a positive message for young women, and it has a subtle message of “Don’t worry about protection, Always is there for you”;

5) the #LikeAGirl became very successful for the brand and has spawned additional videos and photos featuring Howell and other young women;

6) the ad itself also ran “click here for more” that led you to more Always ads and information;

7) the brand name is visible at all times while the video runs so you cannot forget the name Always.

What are the ad’s weaknesses?

Initially, I listed two negatives: I questioned whether the product was overshadowed by the skiing, and that #LikeAGirl was not tied firmly back to the brand Always. Then I did more searches and discovered this campaign began in 2014, with a video about stereotype labels of girls and seeing them as strong, capable and fierce. The campaign using Howell in 2018 is the brands’ continuation of these ideals. Howell’s ads are multi-tiered, with additional videos and photographs. The earlier spots won an Emmy, which brought additional recognition.

Help me out here—what do you see as the negatives?

What is the ad trying to accomplish with its design?

Designing the ads to have a video component that has a banner of the product name on the bottom right corner, keeps consumers’ eyes viewing the product name for several seconds. The positive words written across the images reinforce the positive and powerful message of #LikeAGirl, which subtly makes users tie “power” and “strong” to the brand.

What metrics (likes, shares, re-tweets, etc.) will be used to determine if the ad is successful?

Since viewing the ad builds brand awareness, the most important metric is number of views.

This particular video ad was posted on January 18, 2018, and ran only on Facebook. To date it has over 142,000 views. Liking the video is not as important as seeing it, thus the 91 likes are not as critical in determining success.

Dara Howell #LikeAGirl Always campaign
Dara Howell #LikeAGirl Always campaign

PLEASE leave me you feedback below–would love to hear YOUR take on this campaign.

Thanks, Tanja

6 Replies to “Dara Howell #LikeAGirl Always Campaign: Reverse Engineer a Social Media Post”

  1. I love this. I am all for telling the world about girl power. But you are right. My mind does not tie back to Always, so they did fail there a little bit. I think the fact that they got such a great, powerful woman to highlight is amazing, not only because of all her followers they will potentially convert, but because she is super great, and could inspire a lot of girls.

    1. Hi Catrina,
      I agree with you, using Dara Howell as a role model in their ads was genius. She can inspire girls and has a good clean image. It allowed them to capitalize on her fans and get their message out to a broader audience. I also agree with you that #LikeAGirl does not say “Always” brand, but when you do see the two tied together, it does make you think positively about the brand. Tanja

  2. Tanja, I can see why you had a hard time coming up with any weaknesses, this is a very strong ad campaign. They are inspirational and motivating. I love the message “Try. Fail. Learn. Keep Going #LIKEAGIRL”. Great way to tie in their hashtag with the message. This is also an effective use of the Story Principle, they are telling a story that because Dara Howell was successful while using their product, you can be too. You too can go out there and do these amazing physical things with confidence because of their product. Where this fails for me is that I have personal experience using their product while exercising, and the addition of another type of product (not sold by Always) is definitely required. I do like their brand, it is the best out there for that type of product, but it does not rise to those levels. I think the weakness here is simply overselling and overstating what they can do.

    1. Hey Brenda,
      Thank is very interesting, that Always failed in their product does not live up to the hype–they failed in Principle of Expectations I agree with you about how they materfully used the Story Principle, and I also like their positive message of “Try. Fail. Learn. Keep Going. #LikeAGirl” That is exactly what we need to tell young women. They used the Zeitgeist Principle well, in conceiving this ad; the perception of what girls can do and be has evolved and needs to continue to do so, until young women realize their strengths.
      Thank you for analyzing my post and offering your insights.

  3. Tanja, I love the message of this ad. In a world where sexism still exists, Always wanted to help girls know they are equal with men. I feel in many ways that it is a direct challenge to the demeaning phrases such as “you throw like a girl.” I think this campaign has truly been an inspiration to women and will continue to be so. One other issue I personally didn’t agree with (and I don’t think was mentioned yet) was the words they chose to use for the ad. “Try. Fail. Learn.” Aside from the word learn, I feel like both the other words have negative connotations. I wish they would have done something more like “Train. Learn. Succeed.” This gives off a more positive feel in my mind.

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