When advertisers are ideologues: the sad struggle of the housewife under 50 years old

Jean Allary

Since its establishment in the 60s, the concept of « the housewife under 50″ has always been a problem.

Firstly, the definition, of purchasing manager is statistically unclear: are you a housewife when you’re single? What about single men? And single-parent families? And students who return to their parents on weekends?

Particularly macho, if many women were actually inactive 50 years ago (29% of mothers with two children under sixteen years was working in 1968), making the household a metonymy of the home was not supporter of progress, challenges the arguments of the General:

« Let’s see what happens in a house: the housewife wants to have a vacuum cleaner, a refrigerator, a washing machine and, if possible, an automobile. That is the movement. At the same time, she does not want her husband to debauch, that the boys put their feet on the table, and that the girls do not come at night. That is the order! The housewife wants progress, but she does not want the mess. »

A housewife under 50 years old is the image of Epinal. Therein lies the problem.

Today, the ubiquity of the concept is seriously problematic. French women work very well, the concept of family is expressed in 1000 realities; young people leave the parental home later and later and get married less.

However, in marketing, housewives under 50 years old lives her life as if nothing had changed. For an industry that does not hesitate to qualify herself as creative, it’s annoying.

Thus, creativity is not always synonymous with progress. We can use a wealth of inventiveness to maintain the established order. The professions of marketing and advertising have also never clearly asserted their belonging to progressive values (unlike journalists who almost unanimously raises other questions).

When the ideology passes by business opportunities, there is really something to wonder about the reasons for advertising. Our housewife became a minority for a long time.

First, because if we consider the housewife like a woman responsible for home purchases; half of them over are over 50 years old. Secondly, because the housewives under 50 years old are about 11M in France while there are 35M of people responsible for home purchases in homes (ie. housewives of all ages, single men and men in relationships mostly do errands shopping).

In other words, the housewife under 50 years old represents 31% of French women in charge of house purchases. They only represent 40% of housewives with children aged between 0 to 14 years old, 21% of hypermarkets’ and convenience stores nearby’s customers, 30% of online shoppers…

The same applies for the consumption of daily products: they constitute 27% of customers of grounded coffee (off-pods), 41% of chocolate powder, 34% of biscuits, 31% of oils, 32% of butter, and 31% of meat and poultry….

The housewife is not an economic but ideological struggle driven by marketers. The future belongs to brands and agencies that will benefit from the diversity of consumers.


Sources :

1. http://www.ac-grenoble.fr/lycee/hector.berlioz/htmlprofseteleves/travauxeleves/tpetravailfemterm/vuegene.htm
2. http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%A9nag%C3%A8re_de_moins_de_50_ans” target=”_blank”>fr.wikipedia
3. http://www.ozap.com/actu/74-des-journalistes-votent-a-gauche/441422
4. SIMM TGI 2012

Diplômé du Celsa, Jean Allary est planneur stratégique chez Mediacom. Il rédige chaque jour une chronique sur les marques sur le blog www.notrelienquotidien.com officiel-airmax

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