Why do so many marketing to women efforts fail? One word....
When you stereotype the people in your ads, you end up with commercials that don't engage your target audience.
Which is why I find it amazing that SO many commercials stereotype women.
Go beyond stereotypes
I read an awesome article in Ad Week - The Courage to Advertise Without Female Stereotypes: How Brands LIke Huggies, Tide and Target Go Beyond the Cliches.
The article points out how many women feel advertisers don't understand them or their lives.
How are brands doing in their quest to forge better marketing relationships with women? The results are mixed. Even the target audience feels a profound lack of connection. The oft-quoted Greenfield Online Study from 2002 found that 91 percent of women believed that advertisers of every stripe didn't understand them. Recent research from Insights in Marketing’s i-on-Women unit suggests little has changed over the last decade. Just 17 percent of 1,300 women surveyed said today’s advertisers market effectively to females, while a mere 9 percent believed marketers were effectively communicating to them personally.
"Part of where they're missing the boat is, they’re painting all customers with the same broad brushstrokes," says Tinesha Craig, division director of i-on-Women. "All moms aren’t quite the same. All women aren’t the same. Companies haven’t figured out how to customize their message in a way that’s meaningful. I think they leave a little bit of opportunity on the table because they’re looking at just one aspect of who you are."
How do you break through stereotypes?
There are three secrets to breaking through stereotypes and creating ads that make a real emotional connection with your audience.
- Do NOT do a "joke" ad
- Focus on a "slice of life" moment with one genuine emotion
- Make sure your ad can pass The BuchananTest for stereotyping women
The problem with "joke" ads is that they are full of stereotypes: the doofus dad, the mom to the rescue, the stupid guy, the kid who outsmarts his parents. These are all caricatures.
The "slice of life" ads feature characters you can relate to, and genuine emotions you can share.
Examples of "slice of life" genuine emotions
I collect images, ads, tweets, e-cards - anything that portrays a genuine emotion or real situation that we can all relate to. Here are some examples:
This content goes crazy viral.....for a reason.....
You look at it and go, "OMG - that is totally me!" Or even better, "Wow, I thought I was the only one."
Are your customers looking at your ads and saying that?