Smells Like Inequality

CHALLENGE

While it’s illegal in Canada to pay women less than men, the gender pay gap still exists in every part of the country.

On average, women make 75 cents for every dollar a man makes. Despite the indisputable facts, Canadians were no longer engaging in the dialogue necessary to enact change.

The Canadian Women’s Foundation, Canada’s leading voice for gender equality, wanted to find a way to reignite the conversation about the gender pay gap with original and new creative work. 

IDEA

The spotlight had dimmed on Canada’s persistent gender pay gap, but the internet was lighting up over another topic: Gwyneth Paltrow’s wellness company GOOP had just launched a $75 This Smells Like My Vagina candle. 

TAXI, a VMLY&R company, took this opportunity to steer the conversation towards the gender pay gap by creating a This Smells Like My Penis candle with a $100 price tag. With no difference in functionality between the two candles, the price difference highlights the disparity between men and women’s pay in Canada.

In short, we made a ridiculous candle to call attention an even more ridiculous issue – the longstanding and ongoing pay inequality in Canada. 

RESULTS
  • On a $2,000 production budget and $0 media spend, the candle’s message was heard nationwide and further. 
  • The Smells Like Inequality campaign garnered over 400 million earned media impressions and was covered in publications ranging from Business Insider to Buzzfeed, Men’s Health to Elle, The New York Post to Vice. 
  • It inspired an international conversation about gender pay inequality, reaching from Germany to Nigeria, Mexico to South Africa, and all across the globe.