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2011 march mary kay media post article advertising to women_moms

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  • 1. MediaPost Publications Printer Friendly Page 1 of 2<< Back to MediaPostAdvertising To Women/Moms -- A Brief HistoryMary Kay Modaffari, Mar 30, 2011 12:00 PMWith March being Womens History Month, sharing a retrospective on how advertising to women hasevolved through the years seemed appropriate. I think its safe to say that the launch of LadiesHome Journal in 1883 by Cyrus H.K. Curtis, with his wife Louisa as editor, was a major milestone inthe practice of creating advertising specifically targeting women.Advertising in general has changed dramatically through the years as new vehicles have beenintroduced and marketers continuously search for innovative ways to engage their targetconsumers. But, when it comes to advertising to women, especially during the past 50 years, welljust say, "Youve come a long way, baby."A Brief HistoryAs women have made enormous strides in education and career achievements, their buying powerhas skyrocketed and what they want from the brand they purchase has changed dramatically. Inthe 1950s and 1960s, when only 35% of women were in the workforce and a common aspirationamong young women was to get married and raise a family, ads concentrated on painting thepicture of the happy homemaker (think June Cleaver). Messaging focused on how the advertisersproducts and services could help her keep a nicer house or get her familys clothes cleaner orprepare a better meal.But, as the womens liberation movement took hold in the early 1970s and more women started topursue careers, we started to see sexier, more confident women on television and in advertising.Remember how Mary Tyler Moore went from Laura Petrie to Mary Richards in less than a decade?Younger Baby Boomers and Gen Xers may remember from their childhoods the Charlie girl or thesuperwoman portrayed in the classic 1980 Enjolie fragrance commercial with the cheesy jingle,"Cause Im a Woman." You may even recall the campaign tagline, "The 8-hour perfume for the 24-hour woman." Women wanted to do it all and do it all well. Clair Huxtable, for example, was awife, mother and high-powered attorney with no sign of a housekeeper.Then, Gen Xers started running out of steam in the late 1990s and early 2000s from trying to keepup with it all and, after Gen Yers and Millennials watched their mothers struggle to keep italtogether with demanding careers and families, women started to rebel. They lost interest inachieving the mythical Supermom status. While we still feel a great responsibility to take care ofour families, we dont obsess over whipping up the perfect meal after a long day at the office. Evenwomen who drop out of the workforce to stay home with their children are embracing the idea ofbeing more laid back, relatable moms. Think Deborah Barrone, or better yet, Patricia Heatonscurrent character, Frankie Heck on "The Middle."You dont have to look far today to find campaigns portraying more laid-back moms with less-than-perfect families. The popular Toyota Swagger Wagon campaign is a highly entertaining parodytaking on the impossible-to-achieve notion of the perfect parent. And, I personally like theWindows 7 "To the Cloud" spot featuring a woman using modern technology to get the perfecthttp://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.printFriendly&art_aid=147679 4/4/2011
  • 2. MediaPost Publications Printer Friendly Page 2 of 2family photo that ends with the line, "Windows gives me the family nature never could."Marketing to Women TodayBased on work were doing with our own clients, here are some things to remember whenmarketing to women (specifically "Moms") today:  Women want us to acknowledge that they are more than just moms. They want us to recognize that they have a sense of identity beyond their domestic roles and interests outside their homes, including careers, friends, clubs and other activities.  Even as the role has changed through the years, one thing has remained constant: Women with children still handle the bulk of household and childcare responsibilities, whether or not they are working full-time, staying at home or something in between.  Todays women have accepted the notion of life being a series of trade-offs. They know they cant be good at everything all of the time, so they do the best they can in each situation. They want brands that make it easy for them to delegate.  Making family connections is still most important to women. Help them find ways to spend more time with their families, and youll get their attention.Now that the percentage of females enrolled in college has overtaken the number of male collegestudents, Im curious to see how the role of females -- and how we market to them -- changes inthe next few decades. But, back to our retrospective, theres one fact that I cant help but share --Woodbury Soap was the first advertiser to use sex appeal to sell a product in ads that ran in LadiesHome Journal in 1911 with the tagline, "The skin you love to touch." So, I guess some things reallydont ever change.http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.printFriendly&art_aid=147679 4/4/2011

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