The traditional notions of the roles of men in society are changing as men become more comfortable expressing their individualities and emotions. Men are also seeking more information on categories that historically have lower penetration among male shoppers. This behavioural change is happening globally, but cultural differences between countries should also be considered by manufacturers and marketers. At a time where social forces such as the #MeToo movement are in full flow, brands need to carefully scrutinize their messaging.


Men are defined as those aged 18+ years.

Key insights

1. Changing roles of men in society present powerful marketing opportunities

The traditional notion that men ought to be stoic is outdated. Men nowadays are encouraged to celebrate their individuality, express their emotions, and confront topics that might have been considered sensitive years ago. These changes offer marketers opportunities to be more creative and flexible in their marketing campaigns. Creating more progressive ad campaigns is not just a moral imperative, but a commercial one too as there are tangible bottom-line benefits to a brand becoming more representative and inclusive. Some ways brands can respond include:

  • Eliminating stereotypes as these are outmoded and can generate negative word of mouth;
  • Celebrating individuality and acknowledge that men are multifaceted;
  • Being humorous - men are considered to be more likely to engage with funny advertising;
  • Not shying away from tackling taboos, but ensuring that the delivery is done in a sensitive manner based on the target audience;
  • Engaging relevant influencers - expertise and credibility are important to men;
  • Men giving their time and attention in return for something of genuine worth from advertising