String a small group of words together, move them around until they deliver a meaning, and a phrase is born- hair of the dog, crying over spilt milk, playing like a girl, all common phrases but all with a story and meaning behind them.

But how do you change the meaning of a phrase that has been around for decades, especially one that has been used so openly to insult others by offending girls? You change the story entirely.

The phrase, like a girl, has been around for as long as people can remember, but since 2014 it has changed from words of offense to ones of empowerment. Procter and Gamble decided the negative connotation with his phrase was due for a serious makeover- enter Always #likeAGirl campaign. But why?

The WHY

Looking forward to the new generation of consumers Always was going unnoticed. It needed a makeover that would tailor to the young women of the world. Rather than connecting through a product, they instead built a relationship with their younger audience.

The power of connection and storytelling among young girls is more important than ever in a digital society where identifies are formed by pictures online rather than on their own.

For Always, it was time to change the interpretation of ‘like a girl’ and define it in a way that broke the barriers of how society could define what girls are capable of achieving.

The HOW

Focusing on sports, Always identified that girls going through puberty become less confident in themselves and those who play sports are likely to drop out to conform into societal norms.

Through visual story telling Always confronted the phrase ‘like a girl’ to reinvent the meaning with confidence. A video illustrated the new meaning of what it meant to be like a girl, showing young women of empowerment and confidence. The hashtag #LikeAGirl was created to build this online community around the new definition of like a girl. As this campaign took flight Always made a bold move to introduce this campaign into one of sports largest days- The Super Bowl.

The Result

When planning, executing and assessing a marketing campaign both the numbers and the message are crucial. Without a powerful message the likelihood of producing content that will spread over the globe is unlikely. Always’ message was strong, innovative and emotional, giving them the opportunity to empower girls all over the world and educate all the others.

There results speak for themselves, the #LikeAGirl campaign video received global coverage reaching over 80 million people around the world online while there commercial was broadcasted throughout the United Sates during the Super Bowl. Stats sourced from AdWeek show that 76% of young girls between the age of 16 and 24 non longer saw the phrase like a girl as a negative saying- they were empowered. More so, 2 out of 3 men changed their attitude towards the phrase.

And?

Simply put, Always took a commonly used phrase and changed its meaning, not by changing definitions in a dictionary but by changing the story behind it. Stories have the property to be remembered over decades and to be passed on to others. So the next time someone says you throw like a girl, give em a wink and say thanks.