The beauty brand's Super Bowl commercial is inspired by the first all-female spacewalk that happened late last year.

By Faith Brar
January 30, 2020

When it comes to the Super Bowl and its highly-anticipated ads, women tend to be an audience that's often forgotten. Olay is trying to change that with a comical, yet inspirational commercial that reminds people everywhere to make space for women in traditionally male-dominated fields.

Starring comedian Lilly Singh, actress Busy Philipps, retired NASA astronaut Nicole Stott, actress Taraji P. Henson, and journalist Katie Couric, Olay's Super Bowl LIV ad shows this fearless crew of women going on a quest to #MakeSpaceForWomen in, well, space (more on Olay's hashtag and its accompanying initiative in a sec). The commercial is inspired by the first all-female spacewalk that took place last year, according to a press release shared by Olay.

"'Is there enough space in space for women?' Who wrote that? Are people really still asking that question?" says Couric in the ad's opening scene.

Sadly, some people are still asking that question. "As a woman in STEM, I know what it's like to be one of only a handful of women in a room—or on a space station," Stott said of Olay's Super Bowl ad in a statement. "It's important for everyone to know that the spaceship doesn't care if you're a boy or a girl."

Olay is hoping its commercial can help to close the gender gap in traditionally male-dominated areas across the board, including in STEM fields like space travel, as well as in casting practices for Super Bowl ads. ICYDK, while nearly half (45 percent) of NFL fans are women, only about a quarter (27 percent) of past Super Bowl ads have actually starred women, according to Olay's press release.

"We recognize that many industries have yet to reach gender parity, which is why we're using our Super Bowl ad to feature fearless women who have been trailblazers in their own industries as a way to inspire people everywhere to get involved and support Operation #MakeSpaceForWomen," Eric Rose, associate brand director for Olay, said in a statement. "Olay believes that when we make space for women, we make space for everyone." (Related: Busy Philipps Has Some Pretty Epic Things to Say About Changing the World)

As part of Olay's #MakeSpaceForWomen initiative (which is currently live and will last through February 3), for every tweet that mentions the hashtag and tags @OlaySkin, the beauty brand will donate $1 (up to $500,000) to the nonprofit, Girls Who Code. The organization helps to provide women with the technology, resources, and skills needed to exceed in STEM fields like computer science.

Ahead of airing its Super Bowl ad, Olay has already donated $25,000 to Girls Who Code in the names of astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir, who participated in the second all-female spacewalk just a couple of weeks ago. (Related: This Female Entrepreneur Is Investing In Other Women-Led Businesses)

"Girls Who Code is thrilled to partner with Olay for this Super Bowl commercial and to celebrate last year's historic all-woman spacewalk," Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code, said in a statement. "This diverse, all-female cast is exactly what we want our girls to imagine when they think of careers in computer science."

Props to Olay for not only empowering women to achieve their dreams, but also for reminding people everywhere to #MakeSpaceForWomen. Watch the brand's full ad below:


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