“It’s Not For Women”: Marketing to Men 101

The first and most important lesson in marketing to men is to make sure the ladies know, “hands off!” Literally, because we all know that ladies aren’t supposed to enjoy action/adventure movies, which are really “made for men.” We also know that “manly calories” differ greatly from “womanly calories,” so what lady would want to be caught ingesting them? Who knows what might happen! I’m sure Dr. Pepper wants to prevent women from complaining about their product just in case they get confused and buy the male version of their drink. So, ladies, let us stick to our romantic comedies and our diet drinks with zero calories and leave the men alone!

Aside from gluing a set of balls, some hair, and a penis on a product, how else do companies make their products more appealing to men and appear ridiculous all at the same time?

In fact, that ridiculousness is what the creator of the Gendered Advertising Remixer, Jonathan McIntosh, is counting on! While he only includes toy commercials, that genre shows how early children begin to see gendered messages.

Click here to see The Gendered Advertising Remixer

Wired Magazine quotes McIntosh, pop culture hacker and blogger at Rebellious Pixels: “I think a remix video can be a simple and humorous way to expose the completely absurd levels of gender stereotyping found in many television commercials.” We become immune to these stereotypes, because we are inundated with them. They have become part of our normal everyday world.

Mother Jones also includes the mission behind McIntosh’s work:

“Young people in the United States are subjected to an average of 25,000 TV commercials every year. Embedded in those advertisements are a very regressive and stereotypical set of social values about gender roles for boys and girls. So how can kids push back against a multibillion dollar corporate marketing machine? The goal of this project is to help empower youth of all genders to better understand, deconstruct and creatively take control of the highly gendered messages emanating from their television sets.” McIntosh’s work has received so much attention that his blog becomes a tool for learning more about media literacy.

McIntosh is not the only one to take a critical look at commercials. Other people also spoof the ridiculousness of gendered advertising stereotypes.

Sarah Haskins Target Women series presents a whole slew of videos that make fun of gendered advertising stereotypes. Her spoof on “doofy husband” commercials, among others, will make you look at commercials differently.

These spoofs make us laugh because we recognize them. More than likely, after we see these spoofs we come to realize how certain messages are targeted at one gender only. I mean, it’s not like we really believe that women are the only ones who love yogurt, right?

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