Report: Decision-making extends across both genders but marketers are ignoring it

Kantar has found 55 per cent of Australians think advertising reinforces harmful norms

Failure to target and portray women effectively impacts campaign effectiveness significantly, according to latest research out of Kantar.

In the wake of controversies surrounding the recent Gillette ad and the #metoo movement, Kantar has found 55 per cent of Australians think advertising reinforces harmful norms, and 66 per cent of Australians believe advertising conforms to gender stereotypes.

Kantar said the research into the global advertising industry reveals its failure to portray and target women well does indeed impact ad and campaign effectiveness.

Kantar’s AdReaction 2019 suggests too many brands maintain historic gender skews and are losing market share to brands with wider gender appeal. Globally, men are 38 per cent more likely than women to be featured prominently in ads. Yet progressive ads, such as those led by ‘authoritative’ female characters, outperform other ads.

Many people also see ‘traditional’ expressions of men and women in advertising as holding back progress. For example, 60 per cent of APAC consumers agreed most ads in their countries reinforce rather than help eradicate harmful gender-based stereotypes, despite 83 per cent of APAC marketers thinking they’re doing a good job of creating advertising that avoids that.

“Marketers need to acknowledge while society has evolved, the industry lags in its responsiveness,” said senior account manager, media and digital, at Kantar in Australia, Lizi Pritchard. “The status quo is not optimal, and many brands don’t meet gender needs of today’s consumers as well as they could."

For example, just eight per cent of APAC ads and six per cent globally show women as ‘authoritative’, yet ads led by authoritative female characters outperform other ads. In particular, they generate more expressiveness (measured via facial coding) leading to short-term sales boosts.

“Format also has a strong role in effectiveness. Online ads in particular are failing to deliver for women, generating 28 per cent less brand impact than among men in 2018 globally,” Pritchard said.

 The AdReaction 2019 report also reveals opportunities for brands to better connect with both sexes.

“Humour in particular, works well across both genders, yet, despite being a core driver of creative success among males and females, marketers are missing an opportunity to engage females with humour. Just 22 per cent of ads featuring only women use comedy compared with half containing only males. Re-addressing a balance like this can open brands up to more engaging and a more positive experience for all viewers," Pritchard said.

“It’s imperative for marketers to acknowledge the over-simplistic targeting approaches of some brands fail to acknowledge decision-making roles extend across genders in most categories.

“Catering to feminine and masculine needs within the same campaign idea and creative executions and ensuring consistent copy testing, which includes gender equality metrics, will help you avoid the worst mistakes and learn how to optimise portrayals. In fact, gender-balanced creative and media planning will likely result in more gender-nuanced campaigns. There is no identifiable overall difference in response to ads across gender lines."

Chief offer and innovation officer, Kantar Insights Division, Rosie Hawkins, said the failure to meaningfully connect with female audiences is selling brands short and limiting their brand value.

“It is disappointing female portrayals are generally less powerful, but encouraging that ads featuring more authoritative women are seeing greater success. It is not a simple journey though," she commented.

"Brands need to tread with care and have good self-awareness of how they are perceived. Some more progressive brands have greater permission to challenge gender stereotypes, and brands also need to account for local socio-cultural attitudes.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu 

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments
cmo-xs-promo

Latest Videos

More Videos

Nice blog!Blog is really informative , valuable.keep updating us with such amazing blogs.influencer agency in Melbourne

Rajat Kumar

Why flipping Status Quo Bias is the key to B2B marketing success

Read more

good this information are very helpful for millions of peoples customer loyalty Consultant is an important part of every business.

Tom Devid

Report: 4 ways to generate customer loyalty

Read more

Great post, thanks for sharing such a informative content.

CodeWare Limited

APAC software company brings on first VP of growth

Read more

This article highlights Gartner’s latest digital experience platforms report and how they are influencing content operations ecosystems. ...

vikram Roy

Gartner 2022 Digital Experience Platforms reveals leading vendor players

Read more

What about this one FormDesigner.pro? I think it's a great platform providing a lot of options, you can collect different data and work w...

Salvador Lopez

Gartner highlights four content marketing platform players as leaders

Read more

Blog Posts

Marketing overseas? 4 ways to make your message stick

Companies encounter a variety of challenges when it comes to marketing overseas. Marketing departments often don’t know much about the business and cultural context of the international audiences they are trying to reach. Sometimes they are also unsure about what kind of marketing they should be doing.

Cynthia Dearin

Author, business strategist, advisor

From unconscious to reflective: What level of data user are you?

Using data is a hot topic right now. Leaders are realising data can no longer just be the responsibility of dedicated analysts or staff with ‘data’ in their title or role description.

Dr Selena Fisk

Data expert, author

Whose responsibility is it to set the ground rules for agency collaboration?

It’s not that your agencies don’t have your best interests at heart – most of them do. But the only way to ensure they’re 100 per cent focused on your business and not growing theirs by scope creep is by setting the guard rails for healthy agency collaboration.

Andrew Pascoe

Head of planning, Hatched

Sign in