Ban Bossy Campaign Shows Branded Content Who’s Boss

Strong women often get called one of the “b” words. There’s the one that means female dog, and then there’s “bossy,” a word FaceBook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg is trying to remove from our collective vocabulary to empower young girls. In the past few days, the linguistic ban has received extensive support due to a multifaceted social media campaign and support from a range of brand partners, such as Lifetime and the Girl Scouts.

In case you’ve been in a social media coma the past few or days, we’ll bring you up to speed. The campaign, co-sponsored by, Sandberg’s nonprofit organization, and Girl Scouts of America, aims to eliminate the stigma girls face when trying to assert themselves, lest they be labeled bossy, pushy, or that other “b” word.

There’s been a lot of coverage about the campaign (discussing whether or not it’s actually a good message for girls, etc.), but we wanted to focus on it from a content marketing perspective. Here’s a look at how and why Ban Bossy has everyone buzzing about language.

It’s backed by an incredibly influential crew

Mark Zuckerberg, Sandberg’s boss, advocated for the initiative with a post that has generated over 218,000 likes and nearly 8,000 shares. Social support came in from Beyonce, Jennifer Garner, and Michelle Obama. And let’s not forget, Sheryl Sandberg is no slouch herself when it comes to garnering media coverage. The celebrity dream team has helped the campaign video (above) rack up over 1.5 million views already.



The perfect place to pledge

The Ban Bossy website is decked out with video components, shareable graphic cards, downloadable PDF tip sheets, and “the pledge,” which urges users to spread the message. More than 100,000 people have already pledged to stop saying the word and convince others to do the same. And even though the site consists of mostly evergreen content—no blog, content slideshow, or real-time social tickers—there’s plenty of room for more development as the popularity increases.


Cross-promotional support

If you’ve ever searched for stock photos with “girl” in the query, you know you’re bound to end up with sexed up images that have nothing to do with your photo request. Getty Images recently announced it will expand its partnership with to create a Ban Bossy stock photo library, which will feature a collection of images focused on girl power and female leadership, minus the embarrassment we’re used to from those unintended search results. Also noted in the campaign’s press release, promotional partners include Teach for America, Common Sense Media, AARP, BBYO, and Pantene, among others.

The #BanBossy hashtag rules the media

Much of the success of the campaign has come from social media shoutouts from Twitter and Facebook bigwigs. On launch day, the hashtag was a trending topic on both networks. The Linkedin announcement made a splash for equality, and Lifetime Television has plans to produce a Ban Bossy PSA. If you’re still calling someone bossy by the end of the week, prepare for wrath from your colleagues.

What’s the deal with the Content Strategist? At Contently, storytelling is the only marketing we do, and it works wonders. It could for you, too. Learn more.

Image by 8tracks

Get better at your job right now.

Read our weekly newsletter to master content marketing. It’s made for marketers, creators, and everyone in between.

Trending stories