From servitude to self-determination - Lida designs AdNews March cover

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 5 March 2019
Behind the cover conception sketch

This first appeared in the AdNews March 2019 magazine. Support AdNews by subscribing here.

The creative contingent of adland is the beating heart of the industry. To fully embrace this, and with a mission to create awesome and inspiring covers, each month AdNews hand picks an agency to work its magic. See all Behind the Covers here.

To reflect this issue’s investigative feature on the evolution of women in advertising, there was no better fit than LIDA Australia. The business is part of the M&C Saatchi Group and the global LIDA network.

Editor Pippa Chambers spoke with LIDA’s creative director Rich Donovan to find out more about the creation of our front cover.

Thoughts on being asked to do this particular front cover?
Excited, then nervous, before settling into nervous excitement. Creating the cover of AdNews was a great opportunity and creating it as part of our investigation for International Women’s Day was a great responsibility.

Where did the idea come from?
It came out of the data. You could even say it was a data–driven idea. We looked at dozens of the ads our data scientists had analysed, and the change was both shocking and reassuring. There was a clear sense of evolution, even at that top level, it just needed someone to voice it.


March cover

How did you know you’d landed the best concept?
It allowed us to detail how advertising to women has changed over time. In the 1930s, women were seen as domestic labour. By the 1950s, the introduction of labour–saving devices had turned women into glamorous homemakers. We then saw the increased sexualisation of women which Minnie, our AI Bot, identified through a dramatic increase in exposed skin. Women started to take control of their own narrative with the women’s lib movement, then the superwoman of the 80s and 90s. By the 2000s we’re seeing an increasing diversity of body shapes and ethnicity and the self-actualised woman of today – someone who is still mindful of others, but also of herself.

Who was involved?
Everyone had an opinion, but our data team was front and centre, as they were the inspiration behind the idea.

Any challenges?
Finding the right illustrator who could deliver the nuanced fashion and detail we described above, but still make the six figures look like a whole. Done by an amazing talent called Jessica Meyrick represented by The Jackie Winter Group.

Most rewarding part of the project?
It challenged us to think more deeply about how, what, and why we advertise to women. Are we getting it right? Are we connecting with women in the right way? And, that’s a very good thing.


AGENCY: LIDA Australia
Mickey Madgett
ILLUSTRATOR: Jessica Meyrick
(The Jackie Winter Group)
PRODUCER: Chloe Brennan

Want to know more about the March edition? See: AdNews March Edition: The evolution of women in advertising, Kim Portrate, Snapchat

See all Behind the Covers here.

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