Advertising as a Positive Influence on Women's Health
In spite of the glut of advertising for prescription remedies aimed at women's health concerns such as premenstrual pain and depression, many advertisers are taking a more positive approach to marketing to women. Advertisers are becoming more aware of females' formidable footing in commerce and have begun to use promotional techniques that influence women in positive ways.
Advertisers are increasingly portraying women who do not conform to a difficult-to-achieve ideal. For example, some magazine ads celebrate older women and draw attention to facial wrinkles as a source of pride.
With many women serving in the military, the perceived “protected” woman is making way for the realities of women disabled in combat. Advertising that honors the healthy recovery and achievements of disabled women provides uplifting and inspirational messages for those struggling to overcome physical difficulties. Some advertisers exalt female athletes and galvanize women into physically pushing themselves to achieve far-reaching goals, such as striving to be on Olympic athletic teams. Additionally, advertisers with forethought are promoting the future health of women by portraying young girls contemplating goals such as becoming doctors and nurses.
Some advertisers promote a healthy self-esteem and the pursuit by women for happiness by pointedly asking what women can do for themselves. Positive messages such as this effectively applaud women who consider their own health needs as well as those of others. Similarly, ads encouraging women's health by portraying vibrant females engaged in mentally or physically challenging occupations, such as scientists or leaders of large financial institutions, empower women by illustrating courage, fortitude and energy, and inspire women to explore their capabilities.
As women age, a positive mental attitude becomes more important to health, according to research conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health. Advertisers aware of connections such as this feature happy, mature women in marketing, which furthers the perception of health. For example, promotions that champion healthcare organizations such as the American Heart Association often depict women enjoying heart-healthy activities such as walking or playing tennis. Advertisers condoning healthful diets to ward off diseases like diabetes also contribute to women's health in a positive manner.