Jess Weiner, CEO of Talk to Jess, was one of the speakers at the #Loeries2020 Creative Week. Her presentation was based on the business of belonging: how inclusivity evolved the world’s most famous doll.
‘Although I initially started talking to women and girls, I realised that in order to make a real systemic impact, you have to talk to women, girls, boys and men and those who don’t identify in any one of those binary gender categories. This is really about opening wider, broader, and being more inclusive than we have been before,’ said Weiner.
One of the most powerful amplifiers of her work has been her ability to cut through the noise and look at the cultural context of what people are experiencing around the world. ‘What started my work in this kind of brand advocacy was the campaign for real beauty with Dove in 2004. I have helped to be a part of that and proud to say that we have reached over 60 million girls with self-esteem education curricula. In fact, Dove has become the number one distributor of free self-esteem content around the world, larger than any NGO or NPO organisation. Dove provides this content and we are continuing with some very lofty goals in the years to come. But this has become a long-term commitment for Unilever and it has opened up conversation around the world around beauty standards and unrealistic beauty ideals,’ she added.
She is particularly proud to be associated with her work with Disney on evolving the ‘Disney princess’. ‘I remember in some of this work with Disney, one of our key insights was that girls were many things. This sounds pretty obvious for those of us who identify as women and girls – of course we’re multi-dimensional.’
‘Also important to note that this was an inspiration to look at because this category was falling pretty soft in 2012 and 2013, which is when I started working with them, and a lot of that was because mothers in the US and also around the world were really challenging what their children were playing with. They were asking the question: am I buying the toys and the stories that are going to be most representative of my values as a parent?’