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!
Want to see more, check out my first post in my series 20 examples of marketing to women that connects.
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?
Okay, I admit it. We here at Brogan & Partners are a little obsessed with Target and their marketing. But Target’s latest marketing maneuver is so cute, so clever, so social media-rific, I can’t help but write about it, too.
How has Target raised the bar this time? They made a romantic comedy. On its own, this would delight about 98 percent of all women, but Target didn’t stop there. Because Falling For You is a romantic comedy you can shop.
The first segment of the film launched yesterday and will be followed by three more episodes on October 4th, 9th, and 10th. The film stars A-listers Kristen Bell, and Nia Long, as well as a cute new player named Zachary Abel. Here’s how it works. You watch the adorable Bell and Abel go through the classic rom-com paces: He gets doused in purple paint, she has deep conversations with her cat. They meet awkward in the elevator, then they’re pitted against each other by their cutthroat boss.
While you’re watching, all the Target items that they’re wearing and living in scroll along the right side of the screen. If you love Bell’s plaid pants or leafy shower curtain, Long’s hot pink lipstick, or Abel’s prepster-hip tie, you can click on them as they scroll by and add them to your favorites.
When the three-minute film is over, you can buy just about everything you saw, even the styling products that made Abel’s hair look so perfectly tousled or Bell’s Moroccan-style hand towel. Can you think of a more fun way to shop?
The film’s first segment was also fun to watch, both for all the sleek Target stuff and the cute performances. (The only aspect that didn’t work for me was the occasional appearance of very prominent Target symbols. With all the chic clothes and housewares populating the sets, that felt like overkill.)
Target is further upping the savvy of their film production by releasing it gradually. The first segment ended with a tantalizing cliffhanger. It worked on me. I’m dying to know what will become of these two characters. (I mean, other than the obvious fact that they will end up together in the finale, probably after running toward each other through the city streets, in the rain.) I’ll be tuning back in throughout the week and hope to catch the final live broadcast on October 10th.
And then we’ll be left to wonder what entertaining bar-raiser Target’s going to come up with next. I can’t promise I won’t blog about that one, too.
What do you think of this experiment in X-treme product placement?
Have you heard about Panera Cares community cafes? These are wonderful non-profit versions of Panera sandwich shops. They were created to raise awareness of—and actually relieve—food insecurity.
Everything in a Panera Cares café is just the same as in a “regular” Panera except for the menu, which has suggested donations instead of hard-and-fast prices. The idea is that you donate what you can afford for your meal. Those who can pay the suggested donations (or more) support the café and allow it to feed the hungry for free—or for an hour of volunteer work.
Other than its moving website, Panera Cares’ social media presence has been scanty. I’ve been troubled by this because I’d love this great non-profit to get more buzz. I also think Panera deserves plenty of credit for creating such an innovative way to fight hunger.
As it turns out, Panera did get a blast of online love recently. But the story was about a caring Panera location, rather than a Panera Cares cafe.
It happened like this: New Hampshire resident Brandon Cook posted a story about his dying grandmother’s craving for Panera clam chowder, which is made only on Fridays. It wasn’t a Friday when Cook called his local Panera with the request, but the manager made his grandmother a special batch of her favorite soup anyway. She sent over a box of cookies as well. It was a small gesture of kindness more typical of a small business than a huge, corporate chain.
And what do you know, Brandon Cook’s post has generated more than 815,000 “likes” on Facebook and a heap of press recognition.
I love this story. As a social media expert, I also see a few lessons we can all take from it. . .
Even if you don’t always watch social media, it’s always watching you
I’m sure the manager of that Nashua, NH Panera wasn’t thinking about getting praise on Facebook when she made that extra pot of clam chowder. But the fact is, deeds good and bad can go public at any time. Hopefully that provides added incentive for individuals and companies to be good citizens. It should also remind businesses to keep social media strategies always at the ready so they can manage both good and bad PR.
Going viral is like winning the lottery
A lot of stars have to align for super-buzz to happen. While Panera got lucky this time, hoping to go viral is not a good social media strategy. Instead, you have to use social media (preferably entertaining and innovative social media) to put out your message.
If you don’t toot your own horn, nobody else is going to do it for you. My mother always used to tell me this. As the Panera/Facebook story shows, that’s less true these days, but horn-tooting should still be a crucial part of every business’s strategy. These days, social media is the smartest and most economical way to do it. I for one, hope that Panera Cares increases its online presence so it can get more credit for its philanthropy, and so more people will learn about and visit the Panera Cares cafes. There’s one in Dearborn, Michigan and I will definitely make a point of eating there the next time I’m in the area.
Do you know of any other non-profits that could step up their social media game?
With the glamour of television and the barrage of new opportunities in social and digital media, radio is sometimes a forgotten medium. However, clients with smaller budgets would do well to take a second look at radio (or more radio) for a host of reasons.
First of all, and most obviously, a radio campaign is far cheaper than a television campaign, both in production and media costs. If you want to set a television spot on Maui, you’re looking at exorbitant travel and production costs. If you want to set a radio spot on Maui, all you need is some ukulele music, sound effects of a few tropical birds, and a voice talent who says, “Gee, Maui is beautiful this time of year!” The listener’s imagination will fill in the rest—and save you a lot of money.
When compared to TV, radio is not only cheaper overall, it offers a higher return on investment. According to a study by the Radio Ad Lab, radio’s ROI is 49% higher than that of television.
Websites and social media marketing require frequent updating and monitoring to be effective, and while the internet is a great way to reach younger audiences, it’s less effective at reaching consumers over the age of 45—a growing percentage of the population.
The 2005 Mercury Award Grand Prize-winning spot for ebay, titled “Abbreviated,” is a great example of how radio can do so much and cost so little (note that even eBay, an internet powerhouse, chose to advertise on the radio). One announcer, no background music, no celebrities, just a fun, well-written ad that draws listeners into the “game” of figuring out what the announcer is saying.
As the highest users of social media, according to Mashable, women are the audience people want to connect with to spread the brand love. And one of the most brilliant campaigns of the decade (in my humble opinion) is the Google Chrome campaign. Showing the audience the web is what you make of it, it uses a kaleidoscope of experiences to demonstrate the capability of Google Chrome, while at the same time pulling on our emotions. To our generation, the web is the new fabric of our life. Through it, Google inspires a younger generation with “It Gets Better”, shows us how together we can “Make It Happen”, and documents the love and wonder years of “Dear Sophie.” In the latter, I thought it was especially clever to make the author of the web diary a man instead of a woman. The fastest way to a mother’s heart is through showing a father be a great and sensitive dad. Which just goes to show, that the best marketing to women creative is not always with a woman as the hero. It’s what works and emotionally connects.