'Marketing by stereotypes' is wrong and bad, bad marketing

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A while back I wrote about why stereotypes are dangerous beasts especially when used to link age and attitudes.

This week there have been a couple of very different commentaries on the same subject.

In his usual delicate and thoughtful way Mark Ritson explains why ‘only crap marketers mistake stereotypes for segments’. His words, not mine – he is 100% right.

Now comes the report from the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and JWT that provides a detailed analysis of why brands are failing to address the use of female stereotypes in their advertising. Just substitute the word ‘older’ for ‘female’ and the same story applies.

The research is based on the English language entries that were shortlisted or won prizes in the Film and Film Craft categories at the Cannes Lions between 2006 and 2016 – about 2,000 pieces of content.

The head honcho of Geena Davis explains: “Over ten years: Zero. Nada. Nothing has changed.” This assertion was supported by the observation that:

Women are [still] only in 5% of ads by themselves
Men are speaking seven times more
Men are shown on screen four times more.

A few of the campaigns, are always quoted to show that some brands are trying to change their ways. Two of the ads are shown above, a couple that could have been added to the list are Nike’s Women – Better For It and the National Lottery – This Girl Can. The list is short.

You can read more about JWT’s work ‘Unpacking Gender Bias in Advertising‘.

Why do I think I could be writing exactly the same blog post next year and the year after …….

I think that it is unfair to single out the advertising industry for this obsession with stereotypes. My list of culprits would include journalists, politicians, policy makers and much of the mainstream media.  Even the politically correct BBC was forced to admit that it pays its male talent massively more than the female equivalents. The same organisation is renown for its age bias.

What a depressing story. Dick Stroud

Read the original post here.