@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. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFDqvKtPgZo

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.

[stextbox id=”alert” float=”true” align=”right” width=”250″ bcolor=”000000″ bgcolor=”ece5ef”]

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.

[/stextbox] 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

Want More? Keep Reading.

4 thoughts on “@OldSpice, Why does women’s advertising suck?

  1. I’m glad you tweeted that you were dusting this off.

    Women’s advertising sucks, because men are simple, and women are complicated (in a good way)

    Advertising towards men follows a single simple formula, ‘Be a man’. Be a man around other men (by buying beer x), Be a man around women (with face care product x), Be a man around your family (by buying our safe family car). It’s pretty much all the same message, all going in one direction with minor variations.

    Advertising towards women is much more fractured, with multiple messages. Be a woman around men (with business attire x), Be a girl around girls (by going to our hot nightclub), Be a woman around your family (by buying food/cleaning product x), Be a girl around your family (by buying fun household game x), Be a woman around girls (by recommending personal hygiene product x), Be a girl around men (with unnecessarily sexy product x). So many different directions and so many different messages leaves it open to fail in so many ways.

    1. Your comment is so spot on Ray, I’m just putting the finishing touches on another post that touches on advertising to men, over-thinking it which as you say, is often reserved for women. I also wonder about just the psychology of it all – if there are men who see the SportsCenter, Axe for men, Whataburger ads and are offended that they are pandered to in some way?

      IDK It’s just so much advertising that I know is aimed at me, even the crap that’s been made all ‘edgy’ for the sake of marketing. As IF I’ll be that much more apt to buy your crap b/c you allege you’re dropping the bullshit. So much of my favorite marketing is the stuff aimed at the simple guy, who watches sports or drinks beer, I think my tastes are also a little skewed. FWIW.

    1. One person’s “sexist crap” may be another person’s comedy.. but yeah, I totally agree with you Rose. I have a rant coming soon about the sexist crap pile that Summer’s Eve stepped into recently. Hopefully I’ll have it done by next week (promised a Comment Policy post for this week… oh the pressure).

      ITA about the humor, the funny.. but for some reason marketer’s are more afraid to “go there” when they are advertising to women. Or at least that’s the impression I get whenever I see the ads.

Comments are closed.