@OldSpice, Why does women’s advertising suck?

There have already been tons of articles written about last week’s Old Spice YouTube-palooza, so I’m going to try to take this back to small business marketing

Yes the Old Spice social media and advertising campaign was about engagement and certainly a win for the creative team. What got me was the shift in the target audience: this is a product for men; these ads were aimed at women (presumably buying it for men).

Men’s ads can be “cool.”

I’m a girlie girl that likes my mani-pedis, good wine and bubble baths, but rarely do I tune into any of the ovary channels. My TV viewing does skew towards pretty, pretty men, but that’s another story.

I also like sports (Geaux Tigers! Go Braves!) so I end up seeing many ads clearly not targeted to my demographic. SportsCenter commercials are just made of win and the Espys have become a legit awards show, but there’s junk too.

Axe, GoDaddy, stupid Paris Hilton burger spots: masognistic, sexist crap that for better or worse, hits its target audience. AMP ended up with lots of free ink when their lame iPhone app got the smackdown from the PC police.

If you hawk beer, you gotta have game.

Don’t care the brand, almost the worst beer commercial aimed at men is better than practically anything targeted to women. A few of my faves:

These are spots you want to watch and to hear. The radio extensions of these campaigns are brill, and when I hear one of these commercials I don’t scan to the next station, I turn up the volume! Take a listen.

Rant Alert. Dear Clorox, Shout, Cheer:

If women are the ones buying your crap, using the products, worrying about the spots and stains.. that makes WOMEN the experts.

Quit showing me a bunch of women being taught the complex intricacies of grass stain removal by MEN who, by your own demographic reasoning, don’t really know! Ahem.

What gives with ladies advertising?

I get why ads pushing yeast cures and other girlie products aren’t exactly easy marks for edge and comedy, but that’s no excuse.

Kotex has tried with these “meta” Reality Check and Ethnic Ambiguous spots, but it’s MEH. I could rant for days on the FAIL! for laundry products.

What @OldSpice can teach you about small business marketing

  • Audience. Target the right audience, the right way. Talk to your customers, sure you may be selling your man caves to the men, but with the ladies’ ok.
  • Message. If you’re a small local Atlanta business, that is your story, the difference maker. Don’t hide it, us it. In your copy, marketing and PR. Like Atlanta’s King of Pops.
  • Engagement: These spots were aimed at high followers and media outlets for good reason. Look at your key influencers, read their blogs, follow them on Twitter and develop that relationship.
  • Flexibility. That’s how they did 184 ads in a day, killed YouTube and earned tons of publicity. They didn’t focus group or test. They trusted the talent, the marketing experts to stay on message, represent the brand.
  • Creativity. If you’re a small business owner going against the big chains, this is your time to shine. Forget worrying about offending a whole country, having to dumb down to the lowest common denominator. Make your ads, your marketing fresh and inventive. Dare to be different, because you are.

Did I answer my original question about why ads aimed at women often suck? No. But thanks to @OldSpice and the beer salespersons of the world, I offered some ways to fix it. FWIW.

Have a good ad for women or a small business marketing idea you’d like to see or share? Post it here.

Atlanta Public Relations, Marketing and Social Media

Comments (4) | Trackback

You’re Just a Tool, Social Media

Twitter may be Gini Dietrich’s favorite social media tool, but she’s also seeing the power of video and YouTube. Unless you’ve been in hiding, chances are familiar with these Big Dogs including Facebook and LinkedIn.

What else is out there? A lot.

Tweet Better. Show someone the standard web interface, they don’t get Twitter. That’s why you need a client.

Tip for power tweeters.

If you manage multiple Twitter accounts, and want to make sure to not accidentally tweet from the wrong account, use different Twitter clients. I use Seesmic and Twhirl for other accounts, makes it much easier.

After trying Twhirl, Seesmic and Echofon for Firefox, TweetDeck is probably still my favorite Twitter client. All of them work okay; I just like the organization and integration of TweetDeck.

Other Twitter gems:

Google Knows. Sure Google is set to go self-aware, annihilate us all in a few years, but until then it offers great tools. Did I mention they were FREE?

  • Google Profile. Vanity searching aside, the minute you set it up your profile is out there.  Plus you can add links to your blog, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Nice SEO.
  • Google Alerts. Smart people like Gini and Sarah Evans have blogged about using alerts for monitoring, with good reason: quick, easy and free way to monitor the web.
  • Google Docs. In case you hadn’t heard, there’s this Cloud thingy and you don’t even have to email files back and forth. Genius.
  • Google Translate. Get a comment on a YouTube video in a different language, need a quick translation will traveling, this works. There’s also a website tool.

Blog Posting Power Ups: It’s Good to Share.

  • Add to Any, Share This, TweetMeme are great services to let people forward your wonderful musings to their networks.
  • Issuu. Time picked it as one of the best websites last year. It’s an easy way of sharing and publishing graphic, stylized documents like newsletters. Lots of potential a la SlideShare.
  • Disqus. Even if you don’t use it to manage comments on your own blog, it’s worth registering and creating a Disqus profile since it will make it easier to share your two pennies.
  • LinkedIn Applications. You take the time to blog or develop presentations; these apps can add your WordPress or Typepad blog automatically, make it easier to enhance your profile.

Former favorite. Somebody please save this!

BackType is a social media analytics firm, that helps track the conversation in real time and they used to offer one of my favorite social media tools, a blog commenter profile.

  • It collected almost all of my comments on other blogs. Fab. Now my Disqus profile has saved those, but I don’t always use that tool to comment.
  • Via WordPress plugins BackType Connect and My Comments Elsewhere, I could show my blog comments in a great sidebar widget. Better than a blogroll.

In April they retired collecting user comments on other blogs, which I really miss.

Overload Much. Too much of a good thing.

  • FriendFeed. It’s linked to most folks Twitter feeds, so it’s redundant.  Unless Twitter is down, of course.
  • Plaxo. An electronic address book. I use LinkedIn more.
  • Technorati. Could never join, technical issues. Fail.
  • Yet to try:  HootSuite, Digg, Delicious or StumbleUpon though I see them used quite a bit.


There are plenty of lists like this one from Jay Baer. Anything great I must to check out, if I had to add just one to the arsenal, what would you pick? Share your tips here.

Atlanta Public Relations, Marketing and Social Media

Comments (2) | Trackback