GREENWICH, Conn. – The women of Womenkind, a top New York agency with a satellite office in downtown Old Greenwich, made their television debut Sunday on AMC’s “The Pitch.” They may be in the minority in the advertising realm, but they are hoping to create change and to be heard.
“We really want to improve marking communications to women and bring respect to it,” said Kristi Faulkner, a Stamford resident, president and found of Womenkind, a strategic marketing and communications firm built by women to engage other women in the way they want to be engaged. “We didn’t want to do it just for entertainment purposes. We wanted someone who really relates to us. It was intense — really, really intense.”
“The Pitch” is an original AMC documentary series that pits two advertising agencies against each other to win a new client, working around the clock for seven days to prepare, culminating in a presentation known as The Pitch.
On the latest episode of “The Pitch,” which aired Sunday at 11 p.m. after “Mad Men,” Womenkind faced off with the NYC-based agency, DIGO. They competed to win over client Chris Burch, creator of the Tory Burch label, for an ad campaign for his new clothing and retail line for women, C. Wonder.
Women influence 85 percent of purchases in the country yet only 3 percent of creative directors for advertising agencies are women, according to Faulkner. “Men and women don’t speak the same language in many aspects of their lives,” she said.
Faulkner worked as half of an all-female creative team on Madison Avenue for many years before branching out and creating Womenk!nd. “We were often the token creative team. … Women are often put on the shampoos and the tampons ads, and as a result of that, you’re not winning awards. The guys who create ads for beer and cars are the guys who get promoted.”
“It’s still interesting how many men run our female-led campaigns on the client side, even though they’re coming to Womenk!nd and respecting us for what we do. You’re still trying to convince men to understand a woman’s perspective about a purchasing decision or a branding decision,” said Carolyn Samuel, a Riverside resident and the public relations director for Womenkind.
The women of Womenkind explained their research process, in which they enlist a panel of women, known as muses, to offer their perspectives and insight. “We get really great feedback from those women and base those strategies on what we have to say. It’s part of our ethos – listening to women, staying tapped in and seeing if we can translate their feedback into a great marketing idea,” said Faulkner.
Womenkind was unsuccessful in its bid, but Faulkner said she hoped its intention came across. She said, “We have this mission in this company to do better by girls and by women. More than anything, we’re hoping this is what people see us for.”