The significant. semiotics study

Globally, brands and companies who are embracing a redefined womanhood are attracting the attention of female audiences. Bauer 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.


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