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Fearless Girl demonstrates courageous B2B marketing can work

created on Wednesday 21 Jun 2017

By Henry Clifford-Jones, Director at LinkedIn Marketing Solutions

Fearless Girl, the statue that famously stares down Wall Street’s Charging Bull sculpture, has just got some additional airtime this week after picking up the Grand Prix in three awards last night. The Fearless Girl campaign, which was created by McCann New York for State Street Global Advisors, an investment firm which works with “sophisticated investors and financial intermediaries”, proves that purpose-driven B2B marketing has the capability to capture the zeitgeist like any B2C campaign can.


The firm, whose “responsible” investing enables “economic prosperity and social progress,” captured a mainstream, emotive conversation around gender diversity and in turn helped raise awareness for its “SHE” fund, which invests in businesses with female executives, amongst financial communities. It had to be this way round though, it appeared genuine, was evidence based and came from the core of their organisation.

Prior to winning the Cannes Lions awards, the Fearless Girl campaign won broad support, but it was also a magnet for controversy. Earlier this year, a video of a man behaving lewdly toward the statue went viral, and more recently an artist created a statue of a dog appearing to urinate on Fearless Girl. 

They were no doubt aware of these risks from the start, but State Street were brave, had a strong purpose and leveraged a topical hook (first International Women’s Day since President Trump came to power) and went for it. And it paid off, as Karen van Bergen, Cannes Lions PR jury president, told Advertising Age the statue “did wonders for brand awareness and sales for the company. It is a perfect example of doing well by doing good.” It sure did – Blackrock got involved and the SHE Fund saw a 384% increase in its average daily trading volume in the first three days following the launch.

From a B2B perspective last night, the trucks were also back at it with Scania picking up a Bronze Lion in the Promo and Activation category for it’s 750.000 square foot clock. Not quite Van Damme, but pretty awesome none the less.