10 ADCE Awarded Works to celebrate International Women’s Day

Although the ADCE Awards Jury changes every year, the unintentional but consistent support of our awards to works that celebrate women, challenge gender stereotypes and visibilise female struggles is quite remarkable. Except for 2018 and 2016, in the last seven years, our Grand Prix has been awarded to works that champion or support women. While we acknowledge that in an ideal world, there shouldn’t be a need for this any more, the struggle for equality is still an ongoing issue today, so we are proud to be pushing the agenda for a change that still hasn’t come.

To mark International Women’s Day, we review 10 campaigns from our award winners annuals that pay homage to women, advocate for equality and overcome taboos, including five recent Grand Prix and 5 campaigns that got awarded this year.

Grand Prix 2021
Lauded for portraying women’s experiences that are often shrouded in stigma or shame, from menopause and miscarriage to painful periods and endometriosis, this moving campaign, created by U.K. agency AMV BBDO, was awarded the Grand Prix after winning major prizes at top ad industry awards shows, including The One Club, D&AD and Cannes Lions.
The Tampon Book: a book against tax discrimination
Grand Prix 2020
This campaign was a protest against highly taxed feminine hygiene products that were classified as luxury items under tax systems in the U.S. and countries under the E.U. By encasing tampons into a book, the creators made it possible for these items to be taxed at a lower, far more acceptable rate, while at the same time evidencing the issue of tax discrimination by gender.
Viva La Vulva
Grand Prix 2019
The fun and celebratory Viva La Vulva was the most awarded campaign in the Drum World Rankings 2019. It received over 200 awards, including a D&AD Black Pencil, a Titanium Lion at Cannes, and Grand Prixs at Clios, One Show and 20 other shows around the world including ADC*E. Last year, we interviewed its creators.
Check it before it's removed
Grand Prix 2017
Created by DDB Germany for non-profit organisation Pink Ribbon Germany, “Check it before it’s removed” took advantage of social media censorship guidelines to increase awareness for breast cancer. 17 women each bared a naked breast on Facebook and Instagram, urging women to get regular checks. In a matter of hours, Facebook and Instagram began deleting the posts. But as the pictures were removed, the buzz and awareness around the story helped put a spotlight on both women's body censorship and the need for more regular screenings to detect this type of cancer as early as possible.
Grand Prix 2015
The idea behind this campaign by Leo Burnett London for Procter and Gamble was to take the common expression ‘like a girl’, which contributes to undermining confidence, and make it mean amazing things. Before winning the ADCE Grand Prix, the work had been awarded with an Emmy, a Grand Clio, a Cannes Grand Prix, a Black Pencil and a White Pencil at D&AD and 11 Webby Awards, and a journalist at AdWeek joked that at some point, they would need to start inventing new prizes to give to the campaign.
Promises to my Vagina
Bronze Award at ADCE 2021
Brands of feminine hygiene products have been fighting against taboos for many years. This campaign by Czech brand Ria was made to address the fact that studies show that young women are not familiar with their genitals, and are often even ashamed of them. The aim of the piece was to improve women's attitude towards their bodies and educate and support them in a friendly and engaging way.
Punaista – Tarinoita Kuukautisista
Gold Award at ADCE 2021
Punaista – Tarinoita Kuukautisista (Red – Stories About Periods) is a concept of an illustrated book where menstruation gets to take centre stage. It consists of twelve real-life stories about periods, illustrated boldly and playfully with a blood-red colour palette. The book's main aim is to decrease period shame and de-stigmatize the topic.
Member Club Gold Award in 2021
Mammanual is a visual diary that illustrates the experience of a mother and a newborn baby. The illustrations in the manual show a subjective and ironic approach to documenting things and it starts with a reassuring quote: "Dear mother, you are not alone - the others are having the same issues!"
Cheers to all
Silver Award at ADCE 2021
In advertising, beer is still shown as a man's thing, but in real life, more than 31% of beer drinkers are not men. As a progressive and inclusive brand, Heineken’s campaign Cheers to all gave a fresh perspective on drinker stereotypes and reminded people that drinks have no gender.
More Maria
Member Club Gold Award in 2021
More Maria is a Film Production Company founded by 2 women wanting to do more/better in a specially masculine dominated industry. None of them is called Maria, but they wanted to create a statement of empowerment right in the naming. The brand is based on feminine lines and curves and the More Maria symbol works as a monogram that represents a dual movement of the brand's M’s, and the two founders.