INSIGHTS | Femvertising in China: Cases, Evaluation and Tips

Happy Women's Day!


We are not surprised to find that there are many more campaign events of International Women's Day than Valentine's Day. The engagement of the audience and the brand’s campaigns all voted for the femvertising (Feminism + Advertising). So how is the femvertising going in China?


In this article we…

  1. Summarized 4 most extraordinary femvertising campaigns in China

  2. Reviewed 4 of the bad practice of brands

  3. Introduced the evaluation tool of femvertising

  4. Gave tips on how to conduct femvertising in China for now


Good Campaigns: with clear and strong advocacy


CAMPAIGN 1: LIBRESSE

Put the tampon on the table「把卫生巾放上台面」

Period no hiding「月经不隐藏」

In order to convey the brand's attitude of "putting tampons on the table" and "not hiding menstruation", Tampon brand Libresse (薇尔) collaborated with coffee brand Flash Brew (永璞) to launch a transparent tampon storage box. Intended to reject menstrual shaming, women have the right to choose to put sanitary pads on the countertop, just as common as coffee and tissues. I hope to advocate that in an increasingly open society, women gain a voice in public space.



CAMPAIGN 2: NEIWAI

No Body is Nobody「微而足道,无分你我」

In 2020, lingerie brand NEIWAI launched the annual brand marketing project NO BODY IS NOBODY, which aimed to continuously explore and present the self-identity, awakening, growth and thinking of contemporary Chinese women. In the first year, the brand took the lead in opening a discussion on the diversity of women's bodies and opposed body anxiety with the theme of "there is no one kind of body". In the second year, this project continued to deepen, and the brand explored the details of women's bodies and the collective power of women with “small or insignificant, no distinction between you and me".



CAMPAIGN 3: PROYA

Gender Is Not The Boundary, Prejudice Is「性别不是边界线,偏见才是」

Like A Girl, Like A Lion「醒狮少女」

Click here for full TVC


On International Women's Day in 2020, beauty brand PROYA participated with China Women's Daily to campaign “Gender is not the boundary” to deliver the brand attitude of gender equality. This year, PROYA continued to deepen the theme, and specially planned the short film “Like a Girl, Like a Lion“, featuring the girls who do lion dance. The lion dance is traditionally only available to men in China. In the film, the girl from Guangzhou broke through the role of gender and became the best of lion dancers. To encourage women to fearlessly participate into every areas they want.



CAMPAIGN 4: UKISS

Saving Girls With Beautiful Weapons「是红妆亦是武装」

In China, advertisements for illegal surrogacy often appear in women's restrooms. There are many girls who don't have a marker in their hand when they see these advertisements, so they just smear them off with lipstick. UKISS observed this social phenomenon and launched a campaign: providing 1,000 lipsticks that soon expired and then using it to paint out the egg donation advertisements.


This kind of lipstick advertisement breaks through the stereotype of past lipstick advertisements. The previous lipstick advertisements output more product value or phenomenon, rather than giving value. Using lipstick to smear out these advertisements that cause harm to women gives lipstick a whole new meaning, which can be women protecting women or women protecting themselves.




Bad Practice: that damaged brand equity


We found that many brands lack feminism at the core, which is fine. But fail to properly control the contents in their daily marketing activities, causing consumers opposition and damaging the brand's reputation is not okay.


CASE 1: BIOHYALUX

BIOHYALUX is the top-selling domestic brand of hyaluronic acid skincare products on Tmall. In October 2021, they invited KOL Sun Xiaochuan to promote. In Sun’s post, he described women as “when ugly god (土狗) turn into water dog (水狗)”.

@Sun Xiaochuan, aka @带带大师兄

Game streamer, Bilibili uploader with 4 million followers


Calling female consumers “dog” sparked outrage among women. On Weibo, the topic of #BIOHYALUX does not need female consumers# has exceeded 30 million views. The stock price of the its company Bloomage Biotech(华熙生物) has plummeted by 40% in three months, and its market value has evaporated by 60 billion. Although the brand subsequently issued an apology statement, consumers still refer to BIOHYALUX as a misogynistic brand, with negative comments on social media.



CASE 2: UBRAS

UBRAS in a domestic emerging underwear brand. They asked standup comedian Li Dan to endorse its underwear. Li Dan posted an advertisement on his personal Weibo, claiming that “there was no goods that I couldn’t sell'. He also published contents such as “an equipment that allows women to easily lie down and win in her workplace”.

@Li Dan 李诞

Standup comedian, 8.9 million followers on Weibo


This endorsement and copywriting have been opposed and criticized by female consumers. UBRAS and Li Dan both apologized about this cooperation later on. But both brands and the actor himself have accumulated high engagements.