For years the words consumerism or retail therapy have been largely associated with the female population. Women shop, primp and fuss over their appearance, care what their kids are eating, and have an unquenchable desire to be up-to-date on the latest household cleaners and window treatments. Between the genders was a thick line, grouping men in the casually oblivious category, while the lady folk clicked in high-heeled circles in the area reserved for Multiple Store Credit Card Holders. Women need a beauty regime, Jane Fonda-ed fitness regimen, and lengthy lists of cooking supplies to be culturally acceptable. Men, however, are considered abundantly masculine if they own a power tool and a flannel shirt. Accordingly, advertising and marketing campaigns have mostly been geared towards women, the shoppers and cleaners of the world. Convincing the missus of the household that Fruit Loops contain a whole serving of “fruit” or that stretch marks really can disappear with a magical blend of expensive oils has provided a surefire way to keep your company afloat.
No more, my friends. Whether from the influx in women returning to the work field, the increase of stay-at-home dads, or the sudden realization that The Man was being marketed to only after the lady, the child, the babysitter, and the cat, big time companies are finding the value in appealing to the Hip Husband Demographic. Soft music and gentle words selling tampons to cramp-cringing girls have given way to the Man-mercial.
Enter pyrotechnics, sex panthers, and 80′s Metal.
It’s enough to make even the baddest biker dude want to tote the kiddies to ballet class. Brilliantly, ad execs covered all genres, to ensure your hip-hop husband is thoroughly enamored with the thought of cruising in a van as well.
My fiance, a sweater-vest and Sunday-golf type, has requested we switch out our new Jeep for a newer Swagger Wagon no less than 382 times. This man, normally only concerned with sports and business deals, is now the go-to expert on the various amenities a van can offer. Did you know that vans are top-safety award recipients, come in cool colors, and feature gadgets like DVD players and hidden compartments for your sunglasses? Thanks to my enthusiastic partner, I. DO. NOW.
It seems the concentrated marketing efforts have swapped gender goals. From investing and trading to the apparel a Manly Man’s child will wear, current commercials have all but stopped influencing the image, decor, and cuticle cream a modern woman will buy, and caused a wave of new-age men eager to check out the product of a funny, bad ass, or sports-themed ad.
Yes, Hot Dad. Dress your kid like an Italian Stallion for a quick trip to the market. Enjoy the adoring stares of fine girls. Who cares if they’re marveling at your kid? It’s practically like they’re goo-ing and gaw-ing over you!
Baby? You have a baby, Modern Dad! Hopefully your baby will be articulate or (more importantly) a Tiger on the golf course and a comedic riot in the locker room. We enjoyed a good chuckle with this one. Two days later, I think our funds were invested and traded and earning free interest money. Nothing like an athletic Ally McBeal Baby to get The Man to whip the finances into shape!
I am confident this change in advertising is a good one. Our television time is spotted by laughter and constant commercial re-winding to laugh again. Before, it was a three-minute span of depression in which I took a mental note to remember to buy toothpaste while the men in the room stared blankly at the screen, willing the game to just come back on. Really, the current branding trend of catering to the humor, self-image, and competitive nature of men is priceless for….The Woman. The possibilities are endless.
1. Cascade could launch a series of commercials featuring a burly, weightlifter bench-pressing stacks of spotless dishes. Hey, Husband! Do you want to be an athletic picture of sweat and strength? Load the dishwasher, dear.
2. You know what proves a bro’s worth? Vacuuming. Dyson releases a new carpet cleaner with their unique Ball™ technology. The “I’ve Got Balls™ ” media launch will send record numbers of eager-to-clean males swarming the home goods aisle of Target.
3. Nothing says sexy like a cheddar topped casserole. Paula Deen’s much hotter little sister (Oprah’s not the only girl with surprise siblings!) appears on ESPN, hawking slick, black bakeware for the stud muffin-maker. Select pans are autographed by Gene Simmons and feature studded, heat-resistant handles. Mom’s off dinner duty tonight!
What would you like to see marketed to the Boy Brigade?