Archives par mot-clef : advertising

Interview with Monique Grande, specialist in female personal development


Monique Grande is a writer and specialist coach for women who want to fulfill their potential and become the main players in their own lives again. For Womenology, she accepted to talk to us about her vision of women.

1. In your eyes, what are the main differences between male and female consumers? (In terms of the items they look for, their favourite brands, the way in which they make a decision, their behaviour once in the shop…)

The differences are first and foremost educational and cultural and the major lobbies exploit these issues of gender to the maximum. Messages that are aimed at male and female consumers therefore are considered carefully depending on the gender: in France we talk about the housewife’s shopping basket, never the househusband’s!
It seems that men prefer to acquire a precious object that’s able to seduce a woman, a car to add to his gadgets or a cutting-edge piece of technology for a super-fast connection.
Women, on the other hand, venture into the realm of compulsive shopping or they indulge in items to give to someone else.

2. What are women looking for through consumption?

Satisfaction through pleasure… Of course, they still are!
I would say that women who remain under the influence of an upbringing that consists of pleasing others and expecting to benefit from their charm, look for items that allow them to reveal their finery.
There are also compulsive enthusiasts who make up for things that might be missing from their life and they consume gluttonously without any hesitation!
For those who don’t feel the urge to please other people because they’ve learnt to like themselves for who they are, I think that they buy products that are far from being artificial or unnecessary. A lot of them are concerned with buying organic, buying healthy, buying for fun but their purchases are carefully thought out, and they also buy things for themselves. Now that’s a real challenge for a woman: buying for someone else without forgetting to buy for herself!

3. Do you think that the image of women in advertising has evolved over the last 15 years?

What has changed is that women are lankier, more masculine, even, as if it to mark themselves apart from passive femininity; women’s bodies are also more exposed. But producing sensuality in order to be liked or masculinity in order to gain revenge, that’s compensating behaviour. Such dual compensation makes the role of women swing from the super sexy girl to the high-flying superwoman.
Society brings about a sort of diversion from what women really want deep down. This diversion generates dissatisfaction and a sense of guilt amongst a lot of women.
We might have hoped that after the feminist years, women would have the possibility to be closer to their real nature. But no, more and more, the image driven by advertising encourages the object-woman who’s a visual turn-on and the active woman whose inner life and sensitivity are silenced. Women in magazines are sexier, fashion makes them look their best, they can get as many facelifts as they like and h hide the years… It’s slim consolation in contrast to the lack of self-esteem that a major part of the planet’s female population suffers from!

4. What should companies change to make their products more attractive to women?

Companies could:

® Give more thought to the real lives of women: sell more ethically because these are the woman who are raising and feeding the future generations
® Women want to talk and meet people, they like to talk about life, to invest in relationships: think about the heart of women and sell more sensitivity to them, more links

5. Do you think that society has a tendency to be predominantly feminine?

If that was the case, the world would be a more human place! But that’s not the case! Being predominantly feminine means thinking about BEING rather than HAVING! And developing our sensitivity, our humanism, our charisma. It’s about seizing opportunities that offer changes here and now in order to establish fairer relationships between men and women, and more generally, between human beings.

Men and women don’t remember the same things from adverts


According to an American study carried out in 2011 by Com Score, entitled « Men more difficult to persuade with advertising than women », advertising content affects men and women differently. Although both sexes have the same ability to memorise advertisements, they don¹t focus on the same elements…
which proves, yet again, that advertising agencies need to adapt their strategy depending on which gender they’re targeting.

The Com Score study firstly shows that women are more interested in adverts than men are: while 56% of men claim to « rarely or never » watch adverts, only 43% of women are in this situation. During an ad break in the middle of a TV programme, for example, men tend to get up and do other things while waiting for their programme to resume, whilst women stay in front of the TV and watch the adverts. Women also spend more time on the Internet than men do (3% on average), notably on e-commerce sites where they are exposed to advertising.

A mother and a daughter, but only one marketing campaign


The mother-daughter relationship is closer than ever… and marketers are making the most of it: since the beginning of the 21st century, adverts that target both mothers and daughters have been on the increase.

Source: RevueNews.

According to psychiatrists, the proliferation of divorced households where the mother brings her children up on her own is a major cause of this phenomenon. But at stake are the young girls who could end up struggling to establish their own identity because they’re always living in the shadow of their Wonder Woman mothers. According to Isabelle Decoopman, marketing lecturer at the EDHEC Business School, « It’s often the mothers who are searching for such closeness, they don’t intend to pass on the torch by giving up their femininity. They are therefore the ones who suggest clothes-swapping with their daughters. »Of course, not all single-parent households will find themselves in this situation but this youthism syndrome is becoming widespread.

Ad Women, a book that traces the history of women in ads since the 1870s


Juliann Sivulka’s 2008 book “Ad Women: How they impact on what we need, want, and buy” seems reminiscent of something straight out of Mad Men. Just like in the show, there are lots of things to find out about how women have shaped product design and the advertising industry.

Three key lessons emerge: first, women who run the household are the most targeted demographic in all of marketing – after the advent of World War II, they began to make exponentially more buying decisions and thus gained the attention of advertisers.
Second, women didn’t start gaining influence in the actual industry until a quarter of the way through the 20th century, though we do have the famous example of Mathilde Veil who in 1880 started her own feminine ad agency.
Finally, despite the progress that has been made, the gender gap still exists when we examine ads geared to women—whether it’s 1880 or 2011, the same ads with women smiling near washing machines and cleaning products are still around.

“Re-Gender the Gender,” how to talk to women through advertising


“Re-Gender the Gender,” a book by an American ad executive, shares the conclusions of a qualitative study which compared reactions to different ads by men and women.

A few important conclusions: first, women care more about the details about a product rather than what it looks like at first glance. This trend is manifested by women’s tendency to comparison shop, compare brands, and ask friends about a product before finally deciding to buy it. Attractive ads can help sway a decision, but ultimately the product’s quality and reputation will play a more important role.

Going along with this, empty promises in ads don’t do a good job of speaking to women. Being honest, sincere, and having a human quality are more important in the final decision over whether to buy an item.

To learn more, read the rest of the blog and see the slideshare presentation on the topic.

German women’s reactions to their local advertising market


German magazine Bild der Frau has posted a downloadable study dedicated to femininity on its website, which underscores how far German advertising still has to go.

Women unequivocally critiqued over-sexualized and stereotyping portraits, like ads of big-breasted women in front of sports cars.
Overall there was a sense that advertisements lacked credibility, given their often caricatural portrayals of women as passive, perfect, or cold. Some of the favorite ads had more natural qualities to them, with beauty that is accessible and a bit mysterious.
Overall, women want authenticity in advertising, without putting their gender into boxes. All this shows, unfortunately, is the ad exec’s lack of creativity.