The significant. semiotics study

Globally, brands and companies who are embracing a redefined womanhood are attracting the attention of female audiences. Are Media wanted to understand how this redefined woman was being expressed locally in Australia – to give brands who may be struggling to understand the changing faces of Australian women – some practical information on how to connect.


We took a cultural deep dive into media’s representation of women through an analysis of TV, film , social media and advertising content. We then explored the findings with consumers 18-24 and 34-45, to enrich our understanding. Finally we spoke to thought leaders - academics, social commentators business and community leaders to overlay their insights and experiences.

Advertisers are failing to keep pace with the evolution of Australian women


The results found that while Australia remains a conservative country when it comes to the presentation of women, there are two emergent semiotic codes ‘Bold & Brave’ and ‘Free Agent’ that are increasingly representative of Australian womanhood today, but which are being largely overlooked by marketers. Ultimately we identified 4 overarching codes and 9 expressions of the codes that can help advertisers use the right cultural cues for more effective communications.

Woman's Touch

Womanhood as nurturing, providing & pleasing. Focusing on the feminine essence to tend to and attract others.

Inner Girl

Living out my dreams, carefree joy, irreverent play or a fairytale life. Womanhood portrayed as indulging in youthful play, fun and fantasy. A momentary feeling of freedom and emotional uplift.

Bold and Brave

Leaning in to challenge the world around us – embracing roles of power and authority to achieve positive change.

Free Agent

The most emerging code: this isn’t about womanhood – it’s about humankind – with women alongside men, being unapologetically themselves.

Help your brand connect with the new identities of Australian women

On the back of the research we are launching ‘Speak Her Language’, a series of content and creative workshops with Story54, our commercial storytelling division. The workshops are designed to give marketers a deeper understanding of how to connect with the new identities of Australian women by leveraging The Significant Study insights for more effective campaigns. Find out more at the link below