Behind The Campaign

Explain the Campaign - The Intentionally Sexist Returns Policy

Explain the Campaign - The Intentionally Sexist Returns Policy

As women, we’re conditioned to the experience of being told where our place is. We may have moved on from the days of that place being the kitchen, or the laundry room, (although many would still like to keep us there). But there is still a societal expectation that we’ll do as we’re told, we’ll do it well, and we’ll do it quietly. 

Allyson was told to know her place when she started her fight for maternity protection. As an extremely well-respected and well-decorated athlete, she still experienced the degrading direction to stay in her lane. This is what happens when women use their voice, when we don’t submit to a life of staying quiet. But on the other side of that, we see change. When we stand up, even with shaky knees, we see a shift. It’s scary to challenge the norms, the system, and industry giants. But these were all set up by a system designed to profit off of women’s silence, so we must keep going.

“An Intentionally Sexist Returns Policy” aims to take a close look at the traditional expectations of women, and then flip them upside down. Set against the nostalgic backdrop of the 1950s, we present Allyson, our icon of advancement, and the physical embodiment of Saysh's vision for the future. We see Allyson doing the traditional housewife duties you see in old advertisements – she’s cooking, she’s cleaning, she’s gossiping. But you see her defiantly and directly urging women to take part in a movement that inherently neglects men. We hope this sparks conversation about societal norms and the importance of challenging outdated paradigms to create a more equitable and inclusive future.

“Serving up Change” and “Dusting Away Inequality” are not the typical taglines you would see Saysh use. This campaign is both intentionally sexist and intentionally off-brand. Between the cheesy taglines, the set, the styling, the designs – there is almost nothing about the creative that is brand-aligned*. But this irony is the entire point. Because Saysh, and the maternity returns policy, stand for the complete opposite of what this era represents for women. 

Through catchy slogans and design, paired with description around our innovative policy, we juxtapose the past with the present – inviting reflection on how far we've come and how much further we can go. Sure, we’ve progressed from the 50’s. But how come we still have never seen a woman elected into office? How come we still see a footwear industry that sells women sneakers that were made with men’s foot molds. Women still aren’t paid fairly. We’re still underrepresented in leadership categories, yet overrepresented in statistics regarding sexual violence, objectification, domestic abuse, reproductive health… the list goes on. Women are being failed across countless categories. 

It’s easy to look at how oppressed women were back in the 50’s and resort to a place of complacency with where we are now. We should absolutely consider and celebrate the growth – we’ve made commendable progress, and we’ve done it all ourselves. But with this campaign, we hope you are inspired to continue to fight for better. Because we feel that women deserve better. It is why Saysh exists and why we show up everyday, telling you these stories, so we can find new ways to show you and to tell you that you deserve better. 

*Except for those symbolic Easter eggs in there... The food choices are some of Allyson’s favorites, the colors of the butter reflect her Olympic medals, the price tag is her fastest 200 meter race!

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