In my last blog I made mention of the “clueless husband” trope in TV ads. Upon closer examination I’ve noticed this cliché has become nearly an epidemic in television advertising to women. Men—or more specifically, husbands—use the blender with no lid, change their kid’s poopy diaper on the kitchen table, and generally behave like morons, while their long-suffering wives clean up after them with disinfectant wipes and paper towels. Check out the hilarious Sarah Haskins’ diatribe on “Doofy Husbands” for more examples. She astutely points out that while single men in TV commercials are still cool—driving hot cars, buying beer for sexy women in bars, working out at the gym—as soon as they get married, it’s all over.
While this portrayal of men can be funny (especially if you’re not a man), it demonstrates a lack of respect for women as well as men. It gives the impression that the only way to make women feel smart and competent is to make men dense and inept. This “if I make you less then I’m more” fallacy is the logic used by bullies everywhere. Most women I know don’t feel the need to bully men in order to feel that they are intelligent or capable. And research shows that the most effective marketing to women also appeals to men. Why do so many advertisers ignore this truth?
It’s not like men don’t notice. In fact, men are mad as hell and they’re not going to take it anymore. As described in this Huffington Post article men protested a 2012 TV campaign by Huggies in which the diaper company implied that allowing dads to be in charge of babies for an extended time would “put diapers to the test.” In other words, dads would let the babies’ diapers go without changing for a lot longer than moms. One man protesting the spots complained: “Get over the gender thing, will ya, Huggies? Because, as best as I can tell from all the comments you're ignoring on Facebook, most of us parents have been over the gender thing for years.”
Sounds like good advice for advertisers everywhere. What do you think? Is the portrayal of men in ads targeted at women unfair? Or is it justifiable payback for decades of vapid women on TV?
The battle of the bulge has a new weapon. Social media. Today our agency has launched a new integrated campaign for the Michigan Department of Community Health which includes an online pledge, mobile messages, emails, a facebook community, tv, radio, interactive and grassroots support. It’s called MI Healthier Tomorrow.
The campaign is focused on getting those of us with a muffin top to take a pledge to lose 10% of our body weight, share it with friends and engage in ongoing support. Losing just 10% of body weight can reduce the risk of chronic disease like heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer. In focus groups we learned that putting that message front and center was the most powerful way to inspire people to make long term change. I am really proud of our creative, account and media team and our wonderful clients at MDCH for the amazing collaboration on this effort. It has been a privilege for me to work on this campaign, as I have been fighting my own battle of the bagels for years. I have lost almost 60 pounds making small lifestyle changes over the last two years. And I am taking the MI Healthier Tomorrow pledge as a commitment to continue to reach my goal. Will you join me and take the pledge to lose 10%? Bathing suit season is around the corner…
At Facebook HQ today, founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the new and improved search engine tool “Graph Search” for Facebook. This tool allows you to search for particular information within your social graphs.
The main goal of Graph Search is to return an answer, not list a bunch of links in the form of a web search. In the initial version of Graph Search there will be four main areas of focus: People, Photo, Places and Interests. Bing has teamed up with Facebook to make Graph Search a unique and useful tool.
The improvements to the search engine will optimize the way we search for information on Facebook. If you are in Chicago and want to find friends who live in the area to make plans, you can ask a question such as “Which of my friends live in Chicago?” It will then pull up your friends listed in the area. The search engine tool is also able to rank your friends based on the interaction you have had with them, so the more interaction you have with your friends, the higher they will rank.
You are also able to search for things that your friends like. For example, you can search “My friends who like Smash and The Bachelor” to pull up a list of friends who have similar interests. It works the same way for the people search (which definitely will come in handy the next time you meet a really cute guy at Stacy’s party but cannot remember his last name). All you would do is search “People named Joe who are friends with Stacy”.
If you are thinking of trying out a new restaurant, you are able to view everyone who has been to that restaurant. However, it would even better if you could also rank the quality of your experience – like you can on Yelp. This way if a friend on Facebook can’t decide between two places to go, they can just check out the ranking as well on Facebook. Maybe this feature is coming in the future?
This update will most likely be a more resourceful tool for marketers than everyday users because; it will make it easier to find out the likes and interests of their target audience. This can then help make advertisements appear more personal and targeted toward the fans. On the upside for everyday users, it will make “Facebook stalking” much easier.
After testing out Graph Search I’ve noticed that the update is much more direct and saves time as opposed to the old search on Facebook. Want to try it for yourself? The Graph Search Beta is currently limited but you can join the wait list to be one of the first users to test it out.
What do you think about the new Graph Search? Is it a helpful, useful tool for Facebook users and marketers alike?
How well does Proctor & Gamble understand how to market to women? They invented the Soap Opera. P & G has always been out in front scouring for new products and new ways to help a woman keep house and keep groomed. And over the years, they have become a global powerhouse housing so many brands that are a part of the fabric of our daily life. Like who knew P&G owned Dolce & Gabbana? So it’s no surprise that one of the best integrated brand campaigns this year came from Proctor & Gamble. Their Proud Sponsors of Moms campaign was a brilliant idea and executed wonderfully as they were one of the first big players to integrate the new social media flavor of the day, Pinterest. This campaign launched prior to the Olympics. It made moms the heroes doing Olympian feats everyday as they hurdle over work deadlines, dinner quandaries, homework queries and leap over laundry baskets. It’s emotional and really connects to women. And anyone who has a mom. Which is all of us.
Want to see more, check out my first post in my series 20 examples of marketing to women that connects.
There will always be those woman-only products that you can market without giving men a second thought: maxi-pads, push-up bras, remedies for PMS, etc. Similarly, some products can be marketed to men and men alone—aftershave, athletic supporters, and so forth. But as men’s and women’s roles become less rigidly defined, there are fewer and fewer such products. This presents both new opportunities and new headaches for advertisers.
Case in point: Miller beer. Their Miller64, the lightest of the light beers, is considered by many men to be a “chick beer” (not to be confused with Chick Beer, an actual brand of beer marketed directly to women). To give an idea of what Miller is up against in marketing Miller64, one YouTube commenter, having seen a 2009 TV spot for the beer, scoffed, “Real beer for real men, none of that watery nonsense.” Yet Miller apparently believes there is a male market for this beer, men who care about watching their weight.
So what to do? Scantily clad babes and he-man hunting trips will only turn off women consumers. But many men are loath to even admit they count calories, let alone drink a “girl” beer. Miller’s answer: hide the low-cal, light lifestyle message in a manly drinking song that sounds like something drunken pirates would bellow on the open seas. The lyrics are modern enough:
We run a mile before breakfast
Sure, I had a salad for lunch
But a Miller 64 at dinner
Oh yes 'cause I've worked on my paunch
But the melody and the voices are pure testosterone.
The folks at Yoplait answered their man/woman marketing dilemma in a different way: they simply made two different commercials. Today’s new dad doesn’t just mow the lawn and work on the family car. He’s a kinder, gentler dad, who shops for groceries and even packs the kids’ lunches. Which is why Yoplait needs not just one but two different spots for their Gogurt squeezable yogurt tubes. One spot claims that “Moms who get it, get Gogurt,” and the other, “Dads who get it, get Gogurt.”
Note, however, that despite their enlightened approach, Yoplait can’t quite resist falling back on the tried and true “clueless dad” trope; unlike the perfectionist, über-efficient Mom, Dad requires a full pad of sticky notes to remind him to pack Gogurt into the kids’ lunches, including one from his wife (who still knows best, after all).
Clearly, when it comes to marketing one product to both men and women, advertisers are still feeling their way. Is it possible to effectively market to women and men with one spot? Or do you think Yoplait has the right idea?
When it comes to award-winning marketing to women creative, Nike has just been doing it right for decades. When I was a young copywriter I would study my award books like textbooks. I took notes on the inspirational copy from the Nike women’s campaigns in the 80’s. I put the ads on my bulletin board in homage of just how culturally powerful marketing could be. I wished I had written that Super Bowl spot that set a new generation of girls on fire to what they could achieve. From the female phenoms to the girls next store, Nike always understood the female audience and how their brand could inspire, empower and move generations of women to kick ass. It was never so much about the products themselves, but for what they stood for. Culturally, the Nike women’s marketing challenged gender roles and society’s rules. I have always admired the concepts, the copy and the sheer commitment to the audience over the years. Nike’s marketing to women advertising continues to inspire me as a creative and as a woman. I wanted to share some of my favorites with you.
Want to see more, check out my first post in my series 20 examples of marketing to women that connects.
Here’s a fascinating, female-driven development in the car world: features that prevent wrinkles (in skin, not clothes, though a car that magically keeps your clothes from crinkling would be a great feature, too, wouldn’t it?)
This new, cosmetically clever car is called the Honda Fit She’s (currently only available in Japan). According to this article, its windshield blocks 99 percent of ultraviolet rays, which can damage skin. The climate control system is called “Plasmacluster” and it’s mysteriously skin-enhancing as well.
I love this idea, not in small part because it acknowledges women’s auto buying power. (Women are responsible for 68 percent of new car purchases.) And as someone who has benefited from other woman-driven car design decisions—like kid-mollifying DVD screens, added storage space, driver’s side visor mirrors, and beaucoup cup holders—I’m all for a skin-enhancing drive. It even accomplishes every busy woman’s favorite time-saver: multitasking. Instead of spending an hour in a facialist’s chair, I could just drive my Fit She’s to a meeting and kill two birds with one stone!
So, here’s what I’m not crazy about when it comes to the Fit She’s—the color.
Yup, it’s pink.
The car is also offered in brown, black and white, but its flagship model—and the only one you see in its marketing material—is a frosty, coral-pink.
Yes, I know pink can be powerful and I know real men wear pink but pink is also problematic. It’s every princess-obsessed little girl’s favorite color. It’s soft and sweet and infantile. And on a car, especially one named Fit She’s, it’s a man-repeller
That makes it a missed opportunity. I know plenty of men who enjoy extra cup holders and visor mirrors. They would also love a car that helps stave off leathery skin. But I don’t know a single man who would be comfortable driving a pink “for her” car. As a professional woman who’s well beyond her tween years, I don’t think I’d feel comfortable driving it either.
I’m bewildered by this method of catering to women. It ghettoizes us and alienates men. It’s the exact opposite of what we try to do here at Brogan & Partners. We are marketing-to-women experts but we don’t believe in “divide and conquer.” In fact, we know that thinking like women—and knowing how women think—is an important part of reaching both genders. Taking both genders seriously is a must, too. We do. Maybe the 2014 version of Honda’s skin-saving car will try to also.
Pinterest, the virtual online pin board, seems to be the most recent trend that is starting to catch on in the healthcare world. It’s so new that even the trendsetters – Mayo Clinic, Children’s Hospital of Boston, etc. – only just launched their pages. With that, we thought it would be helpful to do a list of the top trends that we have seen from some of the hospital social leaders, and give examples in order to get some direction and inspiration to get started.
Top Trends of Hospitals on Pinterest:
Recipes – During our research, we noticed that recipe boards were being repinned the most frequently. While many hospitals seem to be repurposing other user’s content to fill their recipe boards, Mayo Clinic has been developing and posting many of their own recipes, which is a unique way to help position themselves as a leader in health.
- Fitness – The majority of hospital pages on Pinterest have fitness boards. This is another area in which Mayo Clinic is doing really well as they are posting fitness tips and videos from their health experts directly on mayoclinic.com.
Hospital spaces/design – Pinterest really is one of the best places to visually get across the idea of your brand, image and your hospital. This naturally means we see the masses using their boards to showcase their hospital layout, décor, etc. Check out these cool images from Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
- Clinical Areas – Specialty hospitals are focusing on having boards per specialty area. We think Cleveland Clinic’s boards for Colon Cancer are a great example of hospitals focuses on clinical areas. They do a really nice job of visually presenting data, info and background for someone interested in that key area.
- Patient Stories – People love real stories, and a patient story board allows viewers to feel that emotional side of your brand. Dayton Children’s Medical Center has a great example with their Miracle Stories board that also includes videos. This board is a true testament of how to get users engaged with your boards.
Hospital Facts – The Cleveland Clinic has done a really nice job putting together some infographics about their system’s hard facts; quick and witty, making it actually interesting to learn about the hospital.
- Health Infographics - We think this is one of the greatest trends and most helpful for people, hospitals are building infographics simply put for health purposes. Scripps Health has some nice examples; love the when to call 9-1-1, when to visit urgent care vs. er, signs of a stroke, things that make life easier, visually.
- Safety Tips – We also noticed the majority of hospitals included some type of variation of a board dedicated to safety tips. We really like how some of the infographics make it easy to understand the information. Nationwide Kids has a great example of a safety board.
If you are just starting to think about creating a Pinterest page for your hospital, hopefully these trends give you a good base for your core boards. Also, note that it’s important to continuously add content, so pin and re-pin as often as you can. A good rule of thumb is to re-pin 4 times per day.
Have you seen any other trends or good examples of hospitals on Pinterest?
When you think of “Centers of Excellence”, what comes to mind? I’d guess maybe highest quality. The best of the best. Specialized. Prestigious reputation. Esteem. That’s why when I heard Walmart was offering a Centers of Excellence program, it kinda stopped me in my tracks. I thought the ultimate incongruity. I mean mini clinics are one thing, but this is ridiculous. Then I read on, learning that this Centers of Excellence program is for Walmart’s 1.4 million employees. A first-of-its-kind that will offer no-cost heart, spine and transplant surgeries at six of the nation’s most prestigious hospitals. Including the Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic and Geisinger Medical Center. Employees will receive 100% coverage, plus travel, lodging and food for the patient and caregiver.
I thought wow, how Walmart of them to negotiate bundled, volume-based value for their health benefits. And positively brand-consistent to provide a one-stop-shop at these Centers of Excellence. To their credit, Walmart will also work with the six healthcare organizations to collectively share best practices collaboration. Kudos to Walmart for this innovation in healthcare value and delivery, as well as brand and employee morale boosting. Not to mention the six hospital partners who are boasting highest quality specialty care and outcomes at lower costs.
While we all hope not to be in the market for these healthcare services, we never know what lies around the corner. And Walmart's providing this Center of Excellence program makes me feel a little better about having them in the neighborhood. How about you?
Some marketing goes beyond building brand awareness, but builds something more: a bridge to change the culture in which we live. The Real Beauty Dove Campaign did exactly that. They took a brand that was just a generic soap that had been around for ages, and reinvented it for a new generation. But before they introduced the line of shampoos, they got into the heads of women. After conducting a global research study, they challenged the idea of beauty. They championed a new idea of beauty. And in doing so, changed the way we thought about beauty, the Dove brand and ourselves.
I remember when the video, Evolution, went viral. It was so powerful; I immediately shared it with my friends and my daughters. I remember how the print in its raw, in your face state, stood out amidst the beauty ads in magazines. And I marveled, as a marketing to women marketer, the social and cultural effect the campaign had. It made me proud of being in the business to see a company do something so noble as they did through their campaign, their social mission films and their commitment to redefine beauty and boost the self-esteem of young girls.
But lately, as Dove abandoned the “Real Beauty” campaign, for something less controversial and more “fresh,” with the “Go Fresh” campaign, it honestly bummed me out. They were just like any other brand in the category. And while they stayed true to their social mission with programs like “The Dove Mission for Self-Esteem,” it seemed like all the progress they made just evaporated. Gone is the emotional connection, the cultural phenomenon, the brand that went beyond, and all we are left is just the product shot on limbo with cucumbers. It’s disappointing that a brand that connected so deeply at one point with its audience is now so unconnected and simply just selling soap. It may be clean. It may be safe. But I prefer the Dove that got its hands dirty making a difference.
Want to see more, check out my first post in my series 20 examples of marketing to women that connects.
Evian has tapped into a brilliant and creative campaign that is a great example of marketing to women that engages online. The brainchild: babies. Now early in my career, I learned if you really want to break through, it’s a cheap trick to put a dog or a baby in your commercial. With it’s “Live Young” campaign, Evian campaign, gives new life to the baby angle.
Please, it’s water. Talk about a parity product. It’s a challenge to find that differentiator or to at least create one. But Evian makes the message memorable and expands on it through modern media vehicles. Using traditional mediums mixed with online video, user-generated engagement, Facebook and microsite, Evian breaks through with the video below but extends it all around the web and world. While it appeals to all people (as most marketing to women creative should), I think it especially appeals to women. We are the ones changing most of the planet’s diapers. We are the ones buying most of the face cream that fights crow’s feet. We are the healthcare decision makers who are trying to find new ways to keep our families healthy. Evian message resonates with us. It’s simple, clean and good clean fun. If you want a laugh, just add Evian to your Facebook newsfeed. 59 million likes can’t be wrong!
Music heals the body and soul. Which is why I think Mount Sinai Hospital Chicago’s new “Sounds of Sinai” fundraising innovation is really cool. It’s also cool that anyone can participate. You simply upload a video of your music performance (no matter how off-key and silly you may appear), let your peeps know, and voila, pledges for the hospital start coming in. All performances, including “favorites” and “highest pledged” are viewable on the soundsofsinai.org site. This is the springboard for sharing to other social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest.
The competition, spunk and goodwill make for a great internal morale and team booster for any level of hospital employee, from security guard to doctor. And what an inspiring opportunity for the whole Chicago community - kids, parents, church groups, school choirs, employers. It's totally inclusive, allowing anyone to raise money for this leading inner city healthcare provider.
Earvin Magic Johnson, a strong supporter of the Chicago urban healthcare community, is the spokesperson and was the first to sing, with his own rendition of The Temptation's "My Girl" . But he's not even in first place! Take a look at the current leading video below (with over $1000 pledged). It's something you could imagine doing with your friends and colleagues.
The spirit and creativity displayed with Sounds of Sinai makes me feel good about this hospital. How about you?