Heineken® partners with Jill & Gary to expose and tackle online sexism plus ...6 more fab role reversal campaigns.

A snapshot look at a trending campaign with a curated pick of past campaigns that use a similar creative approach in some way.

Heineken® partners with Jill & Gary to expose and tackle online sexism plus ...6 more fab role reversal campaigns.

Since its mainstream introduction with 1976’s Freaky Friday, the role reversal or body swap has been a reliable comedic plot device for filmmakers and a showcase for actors looking to stretch their range. More than just highlighting differences in age, gender, and circumstance, the genre functions most profoundly as a morality tale, preaching the importance of empathy and understanding. Is it any wonder that advertising campaigns that follow this structure do so well? The bigger surprise is actually there are so few. Here is a clever one from Heineken that cleverly exposes online sexism when it comes to football punditry.

The Social Swap | Heineken | Edelman | 2023

Plus here are six more...

Skin So Soft | Eos Shaving Cream | Mischief @ No Fixed Addres | 2023

This quirky campaign for Eos shaving cream for women doubles down hard on furry role reversals. In the campaign video above we open on a fox, with a sultry voice, and a young woman draped across its shoulders, musing about wearing humans. The fox strokes the woman's legs, adding an edgy allure to the scene. The closing line "Skin So Soft, Even Soft Things Think You're Soft" might seem a little clunky on reading but it perfectly captures the offbeat tone. Developed to captivate the hard-to-surprise Gen Z audience, one hopes (for all our sakes) this campaign knocks their socks off.  For if this doesn't, what will?

#MyGameMyName | Telefónica |  Africa DDB | 2018

Every day, 1.8 billion gamers play online with almost half of them being girls. Yet almost all of them have studied some form of harassment while playing. To shield themselves from such harassment, many girls resort to adopting male aliases, concealing their true identities. Telefonica and Africa DDB took this insight to launch the powerful #MyGameMyName campaign. The brand invited prominent male figures in the gaming community and asked them to game online for a day using a female alias.  The experience - needless to say - was eye-opening and the male gamers helped call out and raise awareness of the harassment they were receiving due to their username handle.

#GenderSwap | Women In Games | BETC | 2022

Around 50% of gamers are female but women only make up 22% of the gaming studio workforce and #GenderSwap was developed by Women in Games to draw attention to the over-sexualization of female characters. In a similar spirit to #MyGameMyName, this fun but poignant campaign reimagines some of the most popular games by swapping the movements and animations from female to male characters. Modified versions of the games see male characters striking suggestive poses and performing sensual dances. To draw attention to the inequality, Twitch streamers played games with modified scenes and started discussions about the way that women are portrayed in online gaming.

And moving away from gaming...

DogCheck | Black Hawk | The Works | 2018

In Australia, it is estimated that 41% of dogs are overweight, and pet food brand Black Hawk has undertaken a mission to address this issue. Introduced in 2018, the Black Hawk Dog Check visualizer was designed to assist pet owners in identifying potential health risks related to obesity and taking necessary measures to enhance their pets' well-being. By submitting their dog's weight, gender, age, and breed to the Dog Check website, owners could visualize their dogs in human form, gaining a truly unique perspective!

The Exchange | Val Venosta | Serviceplan Group | 2022

Serviceplan Spain launched a campaign for The Association of Fruit and Vegetable Producers of Val Venosta. The initiative featured a mini reality show where singer and influencer Natalia Rodríguez and greengrocer Felix Vázquez swapped roles for a day. The campaign aimed to support Spanish small businesses, introduce them to the digital world and raise awareness among the younger generation about the importance of local greengrocers.  While providing entertainment, the campaign also focused on bringing visibility to local commerce and attracting the younger demographic through social media. The decline in the greengrocer profession due to e-commerce and marketplaces was highlighted, emphasizing the need to support and preserve this traditional occupation.

#GoodLuckGirls | Cadbury | Ogilvy | 2021

Using a smart bit of role reversal, Ogilvy gave a fresh spin to Cadbury's iconic 'Asli Swad Zindagi ka' campaign from 1994, which not only transformed India's perception of chocolates but also challenged societal stereotypes. In the much-loved original a cricketer scores a century and his girlfriend in the stands (who is eating a bar of Cadbury) runs onto the pitch and celebrates with joyful abandon. In the 2021 version, we witness a role reversal where the girl scores a cricket century, prompting her boyfriend to join her on the field for a joyous dance, symbolizing the achievements of girls in today's world. This nostalgic campaign beautifully reflects the changing times, is bang on brand, and has a wonderfully empowering message.

Want more like this?

At the time of writing, BITW has 28 role reversal campaign examples that can be found in the Behaviour & Perspective filter.