We’ve all heard the phrase, “Behind every great man is a great woman.” But what does this colloquialism actually mean? That the man is always front and center while the woman is backstage, acting as his sidekick?
Women are often upstaged, their actions and successes never acknowledged. So a new campaign by Stabilo Boss, the world’s largest manufacturer of highlighter pens, is highlighting remarkable women and their stories in a series of ads. Created by worldwide advertising agency DDB, the campaign features black-and-white photographs with a Stabilo Boss highlighter drawing our attention to the extraordinary women.
Here are some of the amazing women highlighted in the ads:
Edith Wilson was the second wife of President Woodrow Wilson. She assumed her husband’s presidential responsibilities after he was paralyzed by a stroke in 1919. Edith would screen all matters of state and decide which were important enough to bring to the bedridden president for the remainder of his second term.
NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson is responsible for the calculations resulting in Apollo 11’s safe return to earth. During her 35-year career at NASA, she earned a reputation for mastering complex manual calculations and helped the space agency pioneer the use of computers to perform the tasks.
Related: The surprisingly unknown history of women in computing
Lise Meitner was a physicist who worked on radioactivity and nuclear physics. She and her male partner, Otto Hahn, led a small group of scientists who first discovered nuclear fission. Only Otto was awarded the Nobel Prize for chemistry for this discovery.
Reactions to the campaign
Designers and customers alike are applauding the campaign. Here’s what they have to say on Twitter:
If a pen company can come up with something this beautiful, so can you. pic.twitter.com/YdCPBQOR0H
— Michelle Broderick (@MichelleBee) July 5, 2018
Crazier yet, it's a highlighter company. How much more niche can you get??????? Creative.
— Ballio Chan (@ballio) July 6, 2018
? proof that amazing and inspiring work can come from anything
— John Huang (@johhuang) July 6, 2018
Some of the best advertising ever. Genius marketing
— kevin (@kevin_ayala18) July 7, 2018
Simple and significant
Why do these ads work so well? Aside from a great pun (who doesn’t like a highlighter pun?), they are simple, aspirational, and in-line with the zeitgeist.
The ads also prove that you don’t have to go overboard to create a powerful story. With a three-word tagline (“Highlight the Remarkable”) and one photo, this campaign stands out in the best way possible.
Emily has written for some of the top tech companies, covering everything from creative copywriting to UX design. When she's not writing, she's traveling the world (next stop: Japan!), brewing kombucha, and biking through the Pacific Northwest.