Twitter kicked off the celebrations for International Women’s Day with its first-ever TV spot titled #HereWeAre during the Oscars this year with the intention to highlight the voices of women. The spot features a poem written and recited by poet, writer and an advocate of women empowerment, Denice Frohman. Announcing the launch, the company’s tweet said, ‘We stand with women around the world to make their voices heard and their presence known. To bring them front and center, today and every day. Join us as we say #HereWeAre’. The 60-second spot, created in-house, features black-and-white montages of women from all age groups, including Hollywood filmmakers Issa Rae, Ava DuVernay, Julie Dash and Jennifer Brea. The poet reads, “I heard a woman becomes herself the first time she speaks without permission…Say ‘hero’ and cast yourself in the lead role… When a woman tells her own story, she lives forever.” She continues, “If this poem is the only thing that survives me, tell them, this is how I happened. Tell them, I built me a throne. Tell them, when we discovered life on another planet, it was a woman — and she built a bridge, not a border.” She had actually written this poem last year for Twitter. The company had created and promoted a similar 60-second video in July, 2017 with #SheInspiresMe and featured photos of women attending the Cannes Lions in France. The hashtag #HereWeAre was created by Leslie Berland, Twitter CMO, during the 2018 CES when she highlighted the lack of female keynote speakers at the annual consumer-tech convention. The ad, the company says, will also run across newspapers. It is not unknown that causes such as #MeToo and #TimesUp gained prominence on this social media platform. However, the ad and the company have been criticised for not doing enough to curb harassment and bullying on the platform.
— Ananya Saha