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P&G brand Secret tackles gender pay gap in musical ad

P&G deodorant brand, Secret, has ventured forth into the realm of gender inequality, launching 'I'd Rather Get Paid' campaign which seeks to tug the workplace gender off-balance over to a normalised centre.

Presented in the form of a stylised music video, the film highlights that, despite progress in gender inequality, women continue to be underpaid.

The reality is, women in the US are still paid 20% less than men, a tad higher than the UK-wide median of 18.4%. The disparity is shockingly greater for women of colour, with black women and Latinas earning 38% and 46% less, respectively, than Caucasian males.

These statistics equate to a total loss of $513bn in wages, each year for women - an astonishing stat that further reiterates the need for change.

The ad opens in an office bathroom. Using her Secret deodorant as a microphone, a female worker breaks into song, singing, "I wish there was a song women around the world could sing to inspire and remind us that we could do anything..."

The tune quickly steers away from unactionable gender sentiments, as the office protagonist turns from her reflection to the camera, stating "...come to think of it, I'd rather get paid!"

The film then unfolds into musical office number, held together by lyrics that place gender politics in perspective.

"I'd rather make 20 more cents, and get the same paycheck as gents," she sings, "than hear a song with a message in it that makes me feel better for three minutes."

Dismantling gender progress that they deem as "literally a token gesture" the ad's lyrics undermine half-hearted efforts, saying, "I'm glad you gave that movie those awards, and that statue made a bold statement and we appreciate your effort to maintain eye contact, but I'd rather get paid."

The ad features cameos by a group of well-known advocates of equal pay, including actress and activist Sophia Bush, actress Samira Wiley, as well as journalist, activist and tastemaker Catt Sadler.

Sara Saunders, associate brand director for Secret, commented: “While Secret’s products are expertly designed to protect women against odour and sweat, we believe there are some things women shouldn’t have to sweat – like getting paid what they’re worth.

“As a brand for women by women, we want to build on the conversation around closing the wage gap, and give women the strength, tools and inspiration to stop sweating the issue.”

Alongside the 'I'd Rather Get Paid' campaign, Secret has teamed up with Ladies Get Paid and The Wing. These initiatives provide women with tools to use in the fight for equal pay.

Beginning today (November 19), women who visit will get access to a free toolkit from Secret outlining strategies for salary negotiation and ways that organizations as a whole can advance change.

Throughout December, Secret and Ladies Get Paid will host a series of workshops across the US.

Saunders added: “We believe brands have a responsibility to use their platform to enable change, and we’re proud to partner with Ladies Get Paid and The Wing to help make a real difference for women.”

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