JBC

Breaking stereotypes

The challenge

Dressing up is one of the real joys of expressing oneself. Choosing to wear the clothes you feel like yourself in, no matter your gender, provides freedom of expression and exploration of self-identity, a very important part in the process of growing up and learning how to see the world and those living in it. 

Gender-divided clothing sections often make it more difficult to avoid labeling ourselves and others. Why should one person wear something, while someone else shouldn’t? Why is a certain person fit to do a certain job or love a hobby, regardless of their competence, but based on their gender?

Imagine a world where gender makes no difference, especially not in clothing. That was the premise behind JBC’s campaign idea: breaking stereotypes amongst the ones whose mindsets will be the leading voice of future generations. Research shows that gender norms lead to stereotypical occupational preferences for both girls and boys. For the typical male professions, the study shows that 91% of respondents were boys. As for the typical female professions, 85% of the respondents were girls. These results hit close to home for retailer JBC and inspired the brand to take action. And that’s why we joined forces: to change the way our youngest ones view gender roles in society. Because if there’s one thing this Belgian retailer is committed to, it’s young families. Its mission is to empower families in all shapes and sizes. On top of that, gender equality is deeply rooted in the company.  

Target 

Creating a sense of belonging and empowerment for both children and their parents. Promoting he idea of removing labels as a logical consequence in gender equality, to underscore the brand’s leadership position as an authority in family empowerment. JBC’s strategy for this campaign was to give children the freedom to be who they are and to help parents feel secure about their children’s choices, which we happily brought to the world’s attention.

The work

MMBSY rolled out a 360° PR strategy, publishing press releases, in-store displays and enlisting pedagogical expert Steven Gielis to serve as a brand advocate.  

Strategic partnerships with 22 authentic family influencers ensured continuous buzz on social media. They made sure we showed up in parents’ social feeds to educate them on the topic of gender equality.  

The key message 

“All families are different. And no matter which family you are – blood relatives or chosen – JBC is a brand where families have a place to be one!”

The results

Less than an hour after we hit the send button, our press release scored top-tier media coverage. We got featured on Belgium’s most-read online news media platforms such as HLN.be, DHNet.be, etc., who published articles about JBC removing the ‘boys’  and ‘girls’ signs that same day. Furthermore, the campaign was featured in newspapers and TV shows. It provoked some fierce reactions, sparking a debate.  

The figures 

  • Total reach: 55.052.984 
  • Total PR value: € 1.215.078 
  • Social clippings: 152 
  • Number of publications: 79
  • Number of seeded press and influencers: 18