Putting The Brakes On Gender Stereotyped Advertising

Putting The Brakes On Gender Stereotyped Advertising

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Too many companies still ignore women in their advertising. The Guardian takes a look at why this is the case when there's so much research to the contrary.


Tiffany, a brand traditionally associated with debutantes and trophy brides has launched a new ad campaign which features for the first time a gay, male couple alongside the customary heterosexual couples. If a prestigious but conservative brand like Tiffany can transcend traditional gender divides, then why can’t brands traditionally marketed at straight, white men do the same?

When I spoke to a senior marketing exec from a luxury car maker, I asked the same question. He seemed baffled. As far as he was concerned his brand was not for women and never would be. When he told me that less than 10% of the brand’s website traffic came from women, it wasn’t just with resignation, it was with pride.

The fact is that many industries are still riddled with Top Gear syndrome. Cars, tech, watches and the like are seen as boys’ toys and the sector’s marketing strategies are organised accordingly. It’s like every man involved in the designing and marketing of cars has graduated from the same academy that awarded Jeremy Clarkson his summa cum laude degree in sexual politics. They all operate under the motto, “if you don’t have the cojones for this baby, then don’t get behind the wheel.”

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