What women really want from campaigns

Peter Field

So far in this column, I have avoided targeting particular demographic groups because I do not believe that demographics provide a reliable basis for strategy. Shared values are determined more by individual outlook and identity than by demographics. This is less true when it comes to gender, but I maintain that targeting women as a homogeneous group is simplistic and inefficient. Looking for common strands of best practice in marketing to women is likely, therefore, to be of limited value – so why am I bothering?

This feature was prompted by a recent article on WARC.com entitled:' “We Don't Live in Your Fantasy World,” Women tell Advertisers' (1). The article reported consumer research by Cambridge University's Ben Barry into women's attitudes towards advertising for beauty and fashion brands. It re-opened the long-running debate about the use of unrepresentative skinny models, reporting the research conclusion that women favoured representations that reflected their own age, size and background.