Skydive Australia’s latest social media campaign, Elevate Your Courage, is meant to showcase the positive effects experienced when people face their fears.
While the sentiment behind the campaign is indeed a noble one, it can be argued the campaign somewhat misses the mark.
The campaign is the brainchild of the Skydive Australia marketing team and principal of Gray Matter Creative Agency, Stephen Gray.
The idea was born after Gray faced his fears by tandem skydiving and realised the accomplishment truly elevated his own courage.
The campaign also centres on statistics that show one in five Australians are anxious and stressed, also revealing 25 per cent of Aussies say loneliness is a regular part of their lives, 4.3 million people feel it’s difficult to switch off from work and 47 per cent say society is broken.
The potential issue here, however, is that research the campaign was created off the back of isn’t based on gender. It doesn’t reveal one in five women are anxious or stressed. It’s one in five Australians. So why does it only play off the worries and anxieties of Australian women?
Skydive Australia’s head of marketing, Brooke Grundy said the company’s marketing historically reflected a predominantly male-based audience, including travellers and backpackers.
This time, however, Skydive Australia wanted to broaden their scope and appeal to people who’ve never thought about skydiving before, so they started thinking about how they could appeal to a female audience.
Grundy told B&T: “We sat down and thought why [women] might think skydiving isn’t for them and that’s when we started to think maybe it’s [due to] anxiety or worry.
“I think as women all of us have these niggling fears in the back of our mind and so that’s where we got our inspiration from. We thought: let’s give them a different reason to [skydive] … not just crazy adrenaline fun, but conquering their fears.”
The potential issue of this campaign? Arguably, the campaign inadvertently suggests women are the only ones who experience feelings of anxiety, loneliness, and stress, which by extension, somewhat disregards that men also experience such feelings.
In fact, compared to women, men are three times more likely to die by suicide in Australia.
Grundy said Skydive Australia “didn’t want to say men don’t feel stress or anxiety”, but rather they wanted to highlight “women maybe wouldn’t overcome anxieties as easily as men”.
“We thought: let’s show women that maybe skydiving could help them overcome those fears,” she added.
The campaign begins with “real” sharing very personal life fears on camera, such as the fear of making bad decisions, being misjudged, disappointing people, being afraid to sing in front of people and being afraid of growing old without falling in love.
The women were then asked to “elevate their courage” by completing a tandem skydive together.
An inspiring sentiment, yes. Yet the male perspective and voice is sorely lacking.
During background research for the campaign, Gray from Gray Matter agency spoke with psychologist Meredith Fuller about how people can face their fears and challenge themselves by doing something out of their comfort zone.
Fuller said people needed to do something new that was scary, but also fun.
She said: “It’s basically about facing a fear. Your challenge might be to go to a party on your own or jump out of a plane! Get it done and you’ll feel a great sense of achievement.”
Again, if this is the idea around the campaign, it begs the question: where are the men?
Grundy said: “The campaign was about trying to tap into a market who maybe never thought about doing something like this, and while we certainly appreciate everyone has stresses, for this campaign, we felt it was a little more relevant for females.”
She suggested that based on the success of this campaign, moving forward Skydive Australia might recreate the campaign from a male perspective, adding that “keeping it to one gender at a time helps to hone in” on the target market.
At B&T, we believe that advertising can significantly shape and influence culture. That’s one of the reasons we created Changing the Ratio, Australia’s diversity and inclusion conference for the advertising industry. Check out the 2019 schedule today.
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