Olay is heading for the final frontier—not so much outer space as the less-explored territory of an all-female cast—with its Super Bowl ad.
The Procter & Gamble Co. brand’s crew, in an ad from female-owned Badger & Winters, hops a rocket into space as Katie Couric says: “Is there enough space in space for women? Who wrote that? Are people really still asking that question?”
Apparently, yes. But the Olay crew includes three female astronauts, plus Couric and Taraji P. Henson on the ground. As part of the campaign the brand will donate $1 to Women Who Code for every tweet directed @OlaySkin with the hashtag #MakeSpaceforWomen.
While not unprecedented in the Super Bowl (think Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Bon and Viv from last year), all-female casting remains rare on game day. Women were featured in 41 Super Bowl ads last year compared with 47 featuring men, according to research firm ABX. And survey respondents scored women’s portrayal in Super Bowl ads below the index for ads overall, as in years past.
Olay is back for a second year. Last year’s ad from Saatchi & Saatchi, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, scored low at 92 (index 100) for its portrayal of women, per ABX. Bon and Viv fared worse (84). Given the cast and theme, it will be surprising if Olay’s score doesn’t improve this year.