Leftover women in China: Empowering through “femvertising”?

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This capstone thesis examines the process that “femvertising”— advertising that seeks to empower women — uses such discourses to create narratives about “leftover women” in China, and the degree of authenticity for empowering “leftover women” by a “femvertising” campaign. By using multimodal discourse analysis, this thesis selects a case study to examine the commercial “Marriage Market Takeover” created by the premium skincare brand SK-II. After thorough analysis, the essay concludes that the case commercial indeed presents empowerment messages within the story content and provokes substantial social impact related to the “leftover women” discourse in China. However, the authenticity of the ad’s intent to empower this group of women to realize their individualism is far beyond what a commercial campaign even embedded in a globally owned company can do. Women’s liberation in China has a long way to go.
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