UN Women fights against stereotypes through the creative industries


Agga Jónsdóttir and Selma Thorsteindóttir, the founders of Pipar/TBWA, sharing their experience to the Ad Black Sea festival participants. Photo: Edo Mzhavanadze
Agga Jónsdóttir and Selma Thorsteindóttir, the founders of Pipar/TBWA, sharing their experience to the Ad Black Sea festival participants. Photo: Edo Mzhavanadze

The advertising and creative industries are powerful tools for shaping public opinion, influencing cultural norms and changing existing misconceptions. That is why one of the global, modern trends in the development of this field involves the creation of targeted campaigns and communication strategies that will contribute to the formation of healthy attitudes and the crushing of gender stereotypes.

Today, the creative industries sector in Georgia is one of the most developed and successful fields in the country, as evidenced by its numerous successes and awards from across the globe. UN Women closely cooperates with specialists in the field in order to highlight the importance of equality in the industry, as well as to invite its representatives to take into account relevant issues when working on certain topics. It is significant that some of Georgia’s creative agencies are also signatories to the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles.

In addition, one of the important parts of the cooperation between UN Women and the advertising field is the official partnership with the Ad Black Sea International Festival of Creativity. The annual festival is the largest marketing event in the region and brings together representatives of the creative industries, marketing specialists and company leaders. This year, it was held in Batumi from 14 to 16 September, and at the initiative of UN Women, it hosted interesting speakers like Agga Jónsdóttir and Selma Thorsteinsdóttir.

Ms. Jónsdóttir and Ms. Thorsteinsdóttir are the founders of one of Iceland’s most successful creative agencies, Pipar/TBWA. The main topic of their speech at Ad Black Sea was on the role of women in the advertising and creative industries and on changing gender stereotypes in society. They also spoke about the campaign aiming at the elimination of violence against women that was created for UN Women and that won an award at the Cannes International Advertising Festival.

“I found the speech very inspiring,” said marketing specialist and festival attendee Nino Liparteliani. “I liked the main idea that creativity has no gender and that women have great opportunities in marketing, as well as in other fields. The most important thing is not to be afraid and [instead to] endeavour to create something new. I especially remembered the phrase that feelings are universal and that all ideas lose their meaning if they do not evoke a common emotion in people, regardless of gender.”

The intended purpose of the special masterclass, which was held by the speakers within the festival, was to share different experiences with the participants, develop new viewpoints and inspire ideas. They shared with the representatives of creative agencies practical tips that are necessary to create campaigns based on modern, innovative and healthy values. Ms. Thorsteinsdóttir, who serves as creative director at Pipar/TBWA, remarked after the joint masterclass that it “turned out to be a very interesting experience for us. We saw a sparkle of motivation in the participants’ eyes, showing that they are ready to create commercials that will change the world, and they are really able to do that. We are proud to have met such a warm-hearted group of enthusiasts: when we looked at these young professionals, we realized that Georgia really has a very big future.”

The partnership between UN Women and Ad Black Sea was part of the Women’s Economic Empowerment component of the “Good Governance for Gender Equality in Georgia” project, which is implemented by UN Women with the support of the Government of Norway.