The Mercy Academy, an all-girls preparatory school in Louisville, Kentucky, is making waves nationally for its ad campaign telling young girls "You're Not A Princess," and encouraging them to "Prepare for real life." The campaign, which aims to empower young women, features other slogans such as, "Don't wait for a prince" and "Life is not a fairytale."
"The deck is still stacked against young girls as they make their way into the world," said David Vawter, chief creative officer at Doe-Anderson, the ad agency that created the campaign. "This notion of an institution that can help girls prepare for succeeding in the real world, on the world's terms, was very exciting for us."
The ads target middle-school girls who are deciding where to go for high school, and have appeared nearly everywhere in the Louisville area, including print, radio, billboards and 15 bus shelters. When the highly anticipated Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie premieres next weekend, the ad will also be in a local movie theater.
Doe-Anderson had an all-female team design the campaign, Vawter said. But the message was created by Mercy, a Catholic girls' high school with 550 students and a mission statement that includes "preparing students for real life and work in an age of rapid change."
"The credit for whatever success this campaign has goes to them," Vawter said. "They believe strongly that girls have a right to be equally represented in any level of society and that's what this program and this curriculum is all about."
In the wake of press coverage about the campaign, Mercy is working to get television host Ellen Degeneres to come visit the school. Students created a Twitter account called "Get Ellen to Mercy!", and have been tweeting at her using the hashtag #ellencometomercy.
A spokesperson for Doe-Anderson said that producers from The Ellen Degeneres Show contacted the school on Thursday, and are considering its pitch.