How to Appeal to Men vs. Women in Advertising
It can be a slippery slope of stereotypes whenever you try to advertise to a particular group: men vsersus women, for example. When advertisers reinforce stereotypes, created by continually putting men in one role and women in another, they may alienate the very group they are trying to hook, especially in the case of men. Sometimes stereotypes in advertising can appeal to both men and women, but it often works best to understand the way people evaluate messages in advertising rather than rehashing tired old stereotypes.
Buying your product or service requires a decision be made. So to appeal to men versus women, advertisers should be direct. Men process information and make decisions in a linear fashion, whereas women process information in a more nonlinear way. Men will look at the primary message – “Buy this” or “Shop here,” for example – and respond. Women tend to evaluate the primary message but will then look for other clues: “If I buy this or shop here, I will be trendy,” for example.
To appeal to men in advertising, present facts that men can quickly evaluate instead of confusing the issue with interrelated images, which tend to appeal to women.
Men relate positively to male imagery (hunters and athletes, for example.) And they don’t respond positively to imagery they perceive as being feminine (such as bubble baths and candles). So to appeal to men, advertisers are wise to use images that strike a positive chord with men and to avoid products likely to be perceived by most people as being feminine. Just deciding what constitutes masculine versus feminine imagery can present stereotypes; however, sometimes there are valid reasons to use stereotypes. If hunters and athletes appeal to men, and you want to appeal to men, then those ads could very well work.
It’s no surprise that people like to look at attractive people. It’s natural: Babies like to look at pictures of beautiful faces as opposed to ugly faces. So you often see beautiful men and women in advertisements. When men appear in ads for men, those with square jaws, full heads of hair and a strong physique have the most appeal. Men also respond well to sexual imagery in ads. You get the attention of many men when you put a beautiful, healthy young woman in an ad.
Ideally, advertisers can simply advertise a product, not concerned with whether they are appealing to a man or a woman, but simply touting the benefits of the product or service. When selling beauty products, cosmetics and toiletries, however, it can be beneficial to target men or women. In these ads, to appeal to men or women, advertisers typically use the ideal man or woman: young, healthy and attractive.