SYDNEY: The traditional gender roles presented in advertising are no longer fit for purpose in a modern world, but advertisers are struggling to catch up, according to two agency planning experts who have updated the standard brand archetypes.

Research released in 2017 by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and agency network J. Walter Thompson analysed more than 2,000 films from the Cannes Lions archive and found that, overall, men get about four times as much screen time as women and speak about seven times more than women.

Further, women are 48% more likely to be shown in the kitchen while men are 50% more likely to be shown at a sporting event.

“Part of the problem of why men and women are being negatively stereotyped in advertising lies a lot further upstream in a common tool that many marketers use, which is the 12 Brand Archetypes – what we need to do is create a universal set that better represents both women and also men,” said Milica Djurovic, strategic planner at 303MullenLowe, at the Mumbrella360 conference in Sydney recently.

With advertising that doesn’t reflect the reality of their lives, consumers are tuning out – especially women.

“Women are switching off,” said Sarah May, a former senior strategic planner at 303MullenLowe. “Nine out of 10 women find ‘marketing to women’ efforts to be downright cringy – 66% of women have actively switched off TV, films, ads if they negatively stereotyped.

“When women will hopefully control two-thirds of the wealth in the next decade, we have to get this right.”

After extensive research – including reviews of creative work and discussions with marketers, psychologists, and Jungian experts – May and Djurovic settled on 12 new brand archetypes that better reflect the modern world, including nuanced versions of The Hero, The Caregiver and The Lover, which reflect archetypes based on more gender-neutral values and characteristics.

(For more depth on these re-worked brand archetypes, read WARC’s report: Rethinking gender archetypes in modern advertising.)

May advised brands to do their homework when it came to battling gender stereotypes within their own advertising, including hiring with a diversity of perspectives in mind.

“The culture of your organisation helps you succeed in stamping out negative stereotypes. The key thing there is: are you ensuring that there’s enough diversity at the table making the decisions? Are you hiring people that add to your culture and not just fit into it?” May said.

Sourced from WARC