This week we tackled gender differences in advertising. There’s no need to mention the fact that females are superior to males on many levels. We can just leave that unsaid! It may seem an obvious thing that males and females are targeted in different ways, but after this lesson, the differences are so much more in-depth than I originally thought. Men really are more basic than women! And now we can prove it!! We began the lesson discussing how to impress the separate genders and women are far pickier when it comes to absolutely everything it seems. After consulting the male members of the group, they seemed to agree that it doesn’t take very much to impress a man. Men! Apparently if one shows up naked with food, it satisfies a man’s real needs (or desires?!)
As already well acknowledged, advertising campaigns have to primarily choose their target audience, specifically the gender of the T.A. They must target one specific gender as different things trigger different reactions in males and females. For example, the conservative party, previously using a supposedly phallic representative symbol attained the help of an all female agency in the designing of their new icon. It is now a tree, representing growth and development. This action was taken as advisors suggested they ruled out the vote of women with their male orientated party.
We then progressed the targeting of specific genders with charity advertising. We watched a number of adverts for well known charities and wrote down our feelings about them, the techniques they used and whether or not we would consider donating. The most effective one by far was the cancer research UK advert where numerous social groups were targeted. It very cleverly targeted males as one man and a boy were featured saying they shouldn’t be there, as in they should have died from cancer but were saved by the research conducted by the charity. They used a black boy, white man, blonde and brunette woman and the elderly. Possibly as tokenism but also as a direct link to those watching. There are very few people who could watch that advert without having some kind of relation and tie to it. The last girl featured, a blonde girl in a wedding dress was the only one out of the interviewees who had actually lost someone to cancer, and the rest were positive outcomes. This leaves the audience on a ‘downer’. They would be far more inclined to send money when they feel upset than happy. According to both the males and females in the lecture, this girl was by far the most effective in the advert. She states ‘my mum should be here’, everyone has a mother and this statement would upset the majority of people. This cleverly targets both genders.
The reason behind these different approaches is due to the different types of thinking conducted by the genders. Males use a different part of their brains than women. Fact. This explains why each sex never understands the others behaviour! The side used by males likes simplicity and a more ‘black and white’ approach to thinking. Women are ‘airy fairy’ and notice details which the men do not. For example, the photograph we were shown in the slide show was that of a room with a circular ceiling, painting in the middle, two book cases, two flags, a table a desk a chair, and a very detailed green patterned wall. These were the sorts of details remembered by the women in the experiment. The men remembered things such as a room and books. It was recommended to us that we should take a ‘which sided brain are you?’ quiz by Ruth (our lecturer). One would presume all females had a right sided result and all males had a left sided result but this was challenged with a few members of the class. I, for example, had an ‘equal brained’ result. The conclusion from the test stated that I could reason simply, like a man and plan ahead, but also remembered and paid attention to the details, like a female. I was also quite altruistic and cared deeply for others. I was originally quite offended by the result! But after reading a pure female response, i’m glad my brain doesn’t have to do all the processing that some women have to do! In fact I might use that as an excuse for missing my mum’s birthday....
The type of charity advertising that appealed to men was factual newsletter, such as war veteran charities. This is because they lay out the information in an organised manner, like a newsletter; the one we looked at, was informative, lacked any colour or details and was most definitely targeted at a male audience. It was so much so that I lost concentration in the first paragraph. With other forms of advertising, men like humour much more so than women. Women like to reminisce and day dream about, love, children, fields and the seaside. Men are switched off within seconds of an advert like this starting. For example, the Marks and Spencer advert with twiggy and Myleene Klass having a picnic, appealed to women of all ages and gave an immediate association of Marks and Spencer’s with happiness, friends and fun. Men would not care. The kind of advert that would engage a man would be one such as the Budweiser ‘wazzzzup’ advert. It was painfully corny to women but became a massive hit with men and a real catch phrase. Comedy’s such as little Britain who are completely focused on catch phrasing target men immediately. Now we wouldn’t want to cloud their little brains with too many words now would we? So for all the women out there, I think it’s marvellous you are taking the time out to read my blog, I thank you with my whole heart and hope you continue to do so... etc... For all the men... LATERS.