Last week I had a coffee with Steve Henry (one of my favourite ad people) who asked, "Why aren't the young people fire bombing the place at the moment?" I gave him a pretty smart response at the time, but my experience this weekend provided the concrete answer.
I had the great privilege to mentor a group of 11-15-year-old girls in AI with Microsoft Reactor and Acorn Aspirations. I have never been so blown away by such diversity, talent, work ethic, creativity and teamwork in my life!
Then I met their parents, brilliant, motivated and ready for the battle of their lives.
"The patriarchy has to go, there's no way it's going to get our girls!" And that was just the dads.
It was a girl's day event to celebrate Ada Lovelace and they had a choice of topics to create a solution for. None of the nine teams chose gender equality - to them it seemed like a done deal. A lot of them wished their brothers could be there, but there's obviously a way to go because way more girls thrived in a safe environment.
I was pondering this on the way home on the tube when I saw it again – an ad that had enraged me on my way to coffee with Steve – the perfect proof of concept for a creative resource talking to women over 50.
There are a gazillion things wrong with this, but here are the highlights:
Ageist: Almost as many 45+ take the tube everyday as 18-45's. Yet Lumin target us on sites for the 'ageing' and in print.
Sexist: It would be more factual to want your dad off Tinder. He's way more likely to be fishing in your pond – not safely tucked away in the 45 to dead category.
Warmongering: Why is the ad industry trying to pit us up against our kids?
Wrong: What about all the brilliant career women who had their children in their late 30's and 40's whose kids aren't even old enough to be on Tinder?
You know, the Doctors and CEOs, engineers, teachers, investors...
The sort of parents who mentored this brilliant cohort of raw talent, energy and genius.
We're not at war with them. We're the strongest allies the world has ever seen.
It's not their battle.
We'll happily flatten everything to give them the space to build the world that's in their head.
I just spent two days there and I don't want to come back.
Pass me a firebomb!
Put your money where our mouth is.
Janee are activists as well as an incredible creative and strategic resource
for brands that want to talk to the most powerful consumer group on the planet
(and our kids!)