Is your message bold enough to stop traffic?
The Fearless Girl statue that stands defiantly in front of the famous Charging Bull on Wall Street is pure advertising disguised as art. State Street Global Advisors used McCann New York to create the bold statue to promote the firm’s new roster of female run companies and investment fund, SHE.
The statue’s base reads “Know the Power of Leadership, SHE makes a difference,” but no one read it because the visual message is strong, clear, and buzz worthy. It created so much buzz it stirred endless debates. Feminists argued the girl should have been a woman rather than a lesser adversary, a child, in the face of the more powerful male bull. Others felt it was an empowering message attracting attention to the need for more women in leadership roles.
Some felt the statue lessened the positive meaning of the bull and others argued that it changed the bull’s message to a negative one—making the bull aggressive, confrontational, and threatening to women. And many were just upset that feminism was being used as a marketing tool.
This small statue created so much buzz it started conversations all over the world. It also won 4 Grand Prix awards at the Cannes Lions ad industry festival. What did all the buzz garner? Over a million tweets, free publicity, a huge increase in business for State Street and a 375% increase in their SHE fund.
The old adage that ‘any press is good press’ worked because the bad press never impacted the firm’s abilities—it highlighted their commitment to women-owned business. The controversy made State Street’s name famous and associated with women. McCann did a perfect job of employing out-of-the-box thinking with a buzz worthy outdoor “ad” that would put their client’s name on everyone’s lips. Is your ad bold enough to keep people talking?
Morty Silber, CEO
Mad Strategies Inc.
a Wizard of Ads Partner