Sure Women Are Strong

For years, women have been portrayed by the deodorant industry as weak. A problem in need of fixing. From embarrassed bridesmaids to sheepish business women in silk blouses who hide their armpits, women have been made to feel that without a deodorant they are inadequate and unattractive. Unilever’s Sure (also known as Rexona) has reframed the discussion with its Maximum Protection product global launch. Sweat is presented as a symbol of strength, not of weakness. Sweat is a sign that women are engaged, doing, achieving. Women are strong. And now there’s a product as strong as women are. The campaign features a television commercial, print and out-of-home advertising, with women that today’s women can relate to.

Sure Gym Girl

Click on the image below to play the video in YouTube

Sure Tattoo Girl

Sure Woman with Baby


The Strong campaign was developed at Deutsch, New York, by chief creative officer Greg DiNoto, group creative director Liz Gumbinner, creative director Ron Wachino, associate creative director Elizabeth Maertens, director of content production Joe Calabrese, director of art production Helen O’Neill, working with global brand VP Pablo Gazzera, Rexona brand development director Anna Creed, global and regional innovation director for Rexona Cecilia Catalano.

Filming was shot in Prague, Czech Republic, and Montevideo, Uruguay, by director Danny Clinch via MILKT Films with director of photography Vance Burberry, executive producer Linda Narvaez, and producers at Milk & Honey, Prague.

Editor was Steve Bell at Cosmo Street with assistant editor Nikolai Johnson. Colorist was Tim Masick at Company 3. Music was licensed at Human Worldwide, New York. Audio post production was done at Sound Lounge, New York.

  • runebug

    It’s similar to the Dove campaign. I like that products are responding to the criticism of ads that take away your self-esteem and promise to sell it back to you.

    • Jessica

      Agreed, Rune.

      What a joke. Who needs to ‘prevent’ sweat? Sweating is a natural and useful bodily function…perspiration helps the body to regulate temperature. I love that there are companies out there who find us so easy to manipulate. Best when they are companies like Rexona who happily test on animals, too.

  • Pauline

    Who or what is “astorisk” that women are not as strong as?. this irritates the life out of me every time the ad comes on my telly.

    • Mags

      Asterisk is this mark *. In the united states, when an asterisk is put next to a word it usually mean that somewhere, usually at the end of an ad or the bottom of a page, there is extra information, more definition, or otherwise a footnote.

  • A good example of the political opinions of the ad agency and some executives harming the brand. Those women look sad, angry and bitter.
    This might work in feminazi Denmark, but will fail terribly in Asia and Latin America.
    I have worked with marketing of deodorants, women want to feel protected, that’s why ads until now focus on protection.
    Unbelievable amateur marketing.

  • kelephonica

    Hey Marcus. Thanks for your expert opinion on what women want. This ad is awesome because it breaks the mould of what advertising experts like yourself have been boring us with for decades. And I love that in using the word “feminazi” you think it’s OK to equate the fight for gender equality and womens rights with the slaughter of millions of innocent people during WW2. Keep throwing around phrases like that and not caring how ridiculously offensive you are…

    • Suzanne

      Hear, hear kelephonica! Poor Marcos. It’s an excellent ad.

  • Driscolltheque

    I just think it’s an appalling piece of copywriting with a logical fail:

    All women are strong – false (but hey, we can run with that ‘sistahood’ thing for now if you so wish, so let’s say ‘true-ish’)

    All strong women sweat – true. This is a biological fact.

    Strong women need a strong deodorant – false. I am a strong woman. I don’t happen to sweat that much. I don’t need extra strong deodorant because I am metaphorically strong and Sure is a literally strong deodorant. A brand TELLING me otherwise is insulting to my intelligence.

    It just makes me kind of angry that Sure tried to do a Dove-style empowerment ad for women and I do get what you are getting at broadly, but didn’t just employ someone smart enough to write a semi-logical argument.

    Also ‘unapologetically strong?’ well as we’re talking about a literally strong deodorant that makes me think of literally strong women, and as we’re talking about body odour, it makes me think of unapologetically strong smelling women. Who would of course not use Sure at all.

    Oh, did I mention I’m a copywriter?

  • kit lynd

    This ad made me so happy. Here, at long last, was an ad company stepping outside of the stereotypical template that has been in use, for decades, to portray women. Thank you, thank you, thank you for portraying an alternative colour to pink!! Thank you for allowing the actors look directly at the camera and not over their shoulder through their eyelashes! Thank you for allowing them to sit or stand squarely and not ‘coquettishly’. Most ad watchers are so programmed to see this as normal, they don’t realise their perceptions are created ‘norms’ and not how real women are.

  • S

    This ad is bullshit pseudo feminist and makes me mad every time it comes on. Why exactly do strong women need a deodorant to hide their sweatI? If its their strength that makes them sweat, then they have no need to be ashamed of it. And its not true anyway, everybody sweats- nothing to do with strength- especially not the mental strength they seem to be portraying.