Not the most likely face of gender equality…

Bond. James Bond. He’s the man who every man wants to be. Living a life of fast cars, awesome gadgets, beautiful women, and questionable morals.

And now, the face of an ad to promote gender equality. The video below is a product of the EQUALS campaign to celebrate the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day (that would be today).

Bond’s character flaws aside, you’ve got to admit that using him for this campaign is a pretty savvy marketing move. What better way to ensure you reach the young men who most need to hear a message like this? The staging is good too. You keep waiting for what’s gonna happen, keeping you hooked until the end.

UPDATE: I just watched this again and I realized two other things I really like about it. First, the message here is not simple at all. The ad’s whole focus is on raising questions, especially among male viewers, rather than conveying a particular message or encouraging a specific action. I think this ad’s approach will have more long-term impact on an issue as complex as gender equality, given its political, behavioral, economic and other dimensions. Second, the ad is different from many similar campaigns because it uses characters (James Bond and M) rather than celebrities. To me, that mitigates the perception that the celebrity’s ego is influencing their participation.

For more on celebrity activism, see: The halo effect and personal mission creep: Clooney, Smith, Jordan, Schwarzenegger, Gates, Bono and Bieber.