- 01/28/2014 by Alyssa Bereznak (Yahoo)

Almost as many women watch the Super Bowl as men these days. And yet the event’s ads tend to cater to dudes, featuring scantily clad women eating messy fish sandwiches and other wildly unrealistic scenarios. 

Last year a bunch of awesome ladies spoke out against companies that ran sexist ads by plastering each ad with a #NotBuyingIt hashtag on Twitter. It became a trending topic and sparked a conversation in the national media. The Representation Project, which launched the campaign, gained enough backers on Indiegogo to build an app with the same name. And it’s out just in time for this year’s Super Bowl.

The #NotBuyingIt app is a social tool for people to raise awareness about and campaign against sexist advertising and the companies that support it. It lets you upload photos of sexist ads (or ads that do a good job) and share them in a feed. In turn, other users can like and share your contributions online, either within the app or on Twitter.

It works like this:

1. Download the iOS app.

2. Open it.

3. Sign in via email or Twitter.

4. You’ll be brought to the screen below. Select Home or swipe right to start browsing the entries.

5. From there you’ll be taken to the main feed, where you can see examples of both sexist and empowering media. To like a post, tap the thumbs-up button on the bottom. Every item you like will be saved in a folder you can revisit from the Home screen. To share via email, Twitter or text message, click the arrow.

6. To make your own contribution, press the + button on the bottom of the screen.

7. Entries are separated into two categories: #NotBuyingIt and #MediaWeLike. Tap on the category your ad falls into.

8. You’ll be brought to a screen where you can write in your message and attach or take a photo. You can also control whether you’re posting your location or to Twitter.

9. Select your photo. You’ll be brought to a preview of your post. Position the hashtagged phrase around the ad by dragging it with your finger.

10. Then press Done in the upper-right corner of the screen.

11. If you want to feel a geographic solidarity with those you’re posting with, then tap the map icon in the upper-right corner of the screen.

12. From there you can see who’s posting from the app near you. Or you can zoom out by pinching the screen and see the activity across the country. (As you can imagine, this map will be much more poppin’ during the Super Bowl than on a random Tuesday afternoon.)

13. If you’d like to browse the app’s specific projects, then return home by tapping the three horizontal lines in the upper-left corner of the screen. Tap Campaigns to see the companies #NotBuyingIt takes issue with.

14. Chances are, if there’s a sexist Super Bowl ad, you’ll find a campaign against the company that made it here.

15. To join a campaign against a certain company, tap the offender. It’ll give you the option to learn about the company’s history of pandering ads and to join in by tweeting or emailing a link to the post.

And now, dear reader, you are fully equipped to fight back come game day. An NFL title is definitely not the only thing at stake.

headline photo
A successfully shamed ad.


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