Gender Gap

Is gender-targeted advertising effective?
Answered by Curiosity
  • Curiosity


  1. Advertising companies spend a lot of time, money and man power trying to figure out the best ways to target their ads to the right people, whether it's children, teenagers, men or women. But does it really work to target ads toward a certain gender? As it turns out, it depends on the advertisement.

    Advertisements can't be written with a simple formula; indeed, formulaic advertisements often bomb. However, there's anecdotal evidence that advertisers rely more heavily on formulas when it comes to promoting products to women. A 2004 survey found that women thought that ads aimed toward them were often patronizing, offensive and demeaning [source: Crawford]. Rather than relying on gender stereotypes to build an advertising campaign, advertisers may do better to focus on clever, unique approaches that aren't colored by gender but instead appeal to everyone.

    Then again, there are ways to target a gender without being so obvious about it. A 2003 study in the Journal of Advertising Research, which compiled 30 years' worth of research, pointed out some important facts about the different ways men and women take in information. For example, women tend to remember more from commercials than men do. Men aren't usually bothered by loud, fast music in ads, while women are. Women have to see an ad more times than men before they'll buy what's advertised [source: Wolin].

    Findings like these may be useful in targeting specific genders without sticking to stereotypes: Women might not buy something just because it's pink, but they might consider buying it if the commercial is clever -- and in some cases, quiet -- with the sales techniques.

    Gender Targeted Advertisingqa2
    (Sean Murphy/Getty Images)

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