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    This article appears in the December 2013 issue of Louisville Magazine. To subscribe, visit

    From the moment American girls leave the womb, it’s a steady cultural thumping of pink bonnets, frilly bows, gooey fairytales and needy damsels. Parents and educators must filter the fluff, as well as promote a different narrative. Kudos to all-girls school Mercy Academy for a recent ad campaign that does just that. The “You’re Not a Princess” ads created by Louisville firm Doe-Anderson concentrate one visual and text into a potent, simple package.

    The faceless-prince ad reads: “Don’t wait for a prince. Be able to rescue yourself. Prepare for real life.” Another version includes a glass slipper and faceless princess with a similar tagline. Adweek, an advertising-industry magazine, featured the campaign.

    The Today show devoted a few minutes to applauding Mercy’s message. David Vawter, chief creative officer for Doe-Anderson, says the response from both Mercy and the public has been almost unanimously positive. “That almost never happens,” he says, “so we’re pretty psyched about that.”

    images courtesy of Doe Anderson

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