People Are Praising This Genius French Ad For Showing How Women’s Football Is Just As Good As Men’s

The ad from telecom company Orange has gone viral for its genius way for addressing unconscious gender bias in soccer.

People Are Praising This Genius French Ad For Showing How Women’s Football Is Just As Good As Men’s

A French advertisement promoting the country’s women’s national soccer team has gone viral for its genius way of addressing unconscious gender bias in the sport.

The commercial aired in late June as part of a campaign by telecom company Orange to promote its sponsorship of the French women’s team in this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The ad begins with what appears to be a compilation of outstanding plays by French men’s soccer stars, set to dramatic commentary and music.

“Only Les Bleus [a nickname for the French men’s team] can give us these emotions… But that’s not them you’ve just seen,” then appears on screen.

The video then rewinds and restarts to reveal that the footage is actually of players from the women’s team, who had been photoshopped to appear as their male counterparts.

The video then ends with the line, “At Orange, when we support les Bleus, we support les Bleues [a nickname for the French women’s team].”

“We made the observation that women’s soccer is underestimated, less followed and even mocked while the skills of the players are very impressive and matches can bring as much emotion as those of men,” an Orange spokesperson told CNN. “We wanted to rectify the truth and shift these received ideas.”

Women’s soccer has a notoriously been overlooked and undervalued, with the achievements of many women soccer stars often overshadowed or completely left out compared to their male counterparts.

For example, Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, often hailed as the top scorer in international soccer at 123 goals, is actually only the 8th highest scorer when both men and women players are taken into consideration.

The top honor actually belongs to Canada’s Christine Sinclair at 190 goals.

These type of gender statistic omissions are not uncommon.

Many World Cup feats and records set by the men’s players have actually already been achieved or surpassed by one or more women’s team players.

These include the most minutes played and players who have scored in the World Cup in their teens, 20s and 30s.

Though some progress has been made to boost interest and address the inferior treatment and lower salary in women’s soccer, the soccer fandom is still heavily male-dominated and misogynistic.

The total prize money for the FIFA women’s tournament was raised to US$150 million this year, but it is still only a third of the US$440 million that was given to the men’s 2022 FIFA World Cup.

During the 73rd FIFA Congress in March, FIFA President Gianni Infantino acknowledged the pay gap was an issue, saying it hoped to reach equal pay for men and for women by 2026 and 2027.

The 2023 Women’s World Cup is underway in Australia and New Zealand, with France set to play Brazil in the Group Stages on Saturday July 29.

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