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JetBlue, Equinox, Under Armour and Boeing take home inaugural Athena Advertising Awards at 3% Conference


By Minda Smiley, Reporter

November 6, 2017 | 5 min read

The inaugural winners of the Athena Advertising Awards were announced at the 3% Conference last week.


Athena Award winners

The 3% Conference launched the awards scheme earlier this year in partnership with the Athena Film Festival, an annual festival held at Barnard College in New York City that celebrates the stories of remarkable women. In a piece for The Drum, 3% founder Kat Gordon said the goal of the Athena Advertising Awards is to recognize ads that “depict strong, bold women from all walks of life, moving through the world with ambition, moxie, courage, and resilience.”

Said Gordon: “It’s time to stop fetishizing femvertising and start awarding work that simply shows women doing what they do in the world. Not only awarding work with overt female empowerment messages, but work that breaks new ground by virtue of its point of entry and center of gravity."

This year, winners of the Athena Advertising Awards were JetBlue for its ‘Flybabies’ experiment, Boeing for its ‘Women Make Us Better’ ad, the Cindy Gallop chatbot created by R/GA to mark Equal Pay Day, Equinox’s ‘Commit To Something’ campaign and Under Armour’s ‘Unlike Any’ film. The awards were sponsored by Morgan Stanley.

Find out more about each of the winners below.

Category: Events and Experiential

Winner: ‘Flybabies’ by JetBlue

Agency: MullenLowe

JetBlue made a splash last year with its ‘Flybabies’ in-flight experiment, which was captured on film and used as fodder for the brand’s Mother’s Day spot. On a flight from New York to California, passengers were told that each time a baby cried, they would get 25 percent off of their next JetBlue ticket. If four babies cried, they’d receive a free round-trip ticket.

The experiment proved to be a success: when the plane began its descent into California and a fourth baby started to cry, the plane erupted into applause. The film ends with the message, “Next time, smile at a baby for crying out loud.”

Category: Social Marketing

Winner: Cindy Gallop chatbot

Agency: R/GA

Cindy Gallop

To make Equal Pay Day this year, R/GA developed a ‘Cindy Gallop chatbot’ to help women navigate the murky waters of asking for a raise. After entering information like job title, location and seniority, the Gallop bot helps users figure out the best way to ask for a raise so they can "make a shit ton of money."

Category: Film

Winner: ‘Women Make Us Better’ by Boeing

Agency: FCB

In 1919, two women sent letters to US colleges to inquire about whether or not female engineering students had ever been enrolled. Their appalling responses were read aloud by female Boeing engineers in the brand’s ‘Women Make Us Better’ spot, which aims to illustrate Boeing’s commitment to “increasing the number of women in STEM careers worldwide.”

Category: Print

Winner: ‘Commit To Something’ by Equinox

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy


Equinox’s Commit To Something print campaign was designed to “point out that commitments, not only in fitness but in life​,​ ​fundamentally ​define you.​“ In one of the ads, model Samantha Paige is shown proudly showing off her mastectomy scars while getting a tattoo.

Category: Integrated Campaign

Winner: ‘Unlike Any’ by Under Armour

Agency: Droga5

Droga5’s ‘Unlike Any’ campaign was created to honor “the incredible feats of female athleticism in the purest sense, by showcasing women who are beyond compare, elevating them to where they belong – above gender roles, above labels, and above comparison.” To date, the campaign has featured women including ballerina Misty Copeland, stunt woman Jessie Graff and sprinter Natasha Hastings.

Wunderman proudly supports The Drum’s 3% Conference coverage. We believe true diversity does not check boxes, it checks itself.

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