WHAT: MTV’s “Look Different” campaign–which tackles biases that go along racial lines, sexual orientation, and gender–created a series of three 45-second PSA’s, narrated by familiar voices like Kal Penn and Hot 97 DJ Nessa, to explain why some of the more common gender stereotypes are made-up and disconnected from reality.
WHO: And/Or creative studio for MTV.
WHY WE CARE: Gender norms can be destructive, mostly because they’re inherently arbitrary and artificial, then maintained with the zealotry of true believers determined to enforce their views as an unshakable truth. Andrei Chahine a VP and Brand Creative Director at MTV, told FastCo.Create why the “Look Different” campaign sought to take that on the way they did. “We wanted to expose gender norms, or ‘rules,’ for the arbitrary social constructs that they are,” he explains–and doing so with And/Or was a chance to put some money where the company’s mouth was. “And/Or not only embodied the effort as a woman-led creative boutique shop in the male-dominated world of creative advertising, but they brought an intellectual and irreverent approach that made gender norms come off as ridiculous. Which they are.” The spots look great–they’re colorful and whimsical without being silly–and they capture the absurdity of things like “pink = girls” quickly and effectively, in 45 seconds, which is really all the time it takes to point out the holes in most of these.