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Masculinity & Modernity


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What makes the modern man tick?

Research from leading advertising agency JWT London reveals that being married or in a committed relationship is actually more important to men (85%) than it is to women (79%). And expressing emotion, long depicted as a sign of male weakness, is now not just something most men are comfortable with, it is actually a source of pride (62%).

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Masculinity & Modernity

  2. 2. CONTENTS FOREWORD INTRODUCTION: GENDER BLURRING PICTURE PERFECT: THE OUTER MAN • SELF-IMAGE: APPEARANCE ANXIETY • STYLE: ANYTHING GOES • BODY IMAGE: TRIM TORSOS • THE MAN IN THE MIRROR: MALE GROOMING • BEAUTY & THE BLOKE UNDER THE SKIN: THE INNER MAN • THE END OF MEN? • DEFINITIONS OF MEN: CHIVALRY IS NOT DEAD • MALE PRIDE: THE PROVIDER Planning Foresight is JWT London’s dedicated research and insight team. Led by Marie Stafford, an expert in consumer insight, trends and quantitative analysis, Planning Foresight is the creativity behind the creativity at JWT. The team powers the agency’s thinking, making sense of changes in culture and society, bolstering strategy and delivering a shot of thought-provoking inspiration. • SIGNALS OF MASCULINITY: EMOTIONAL CAPABILITY • FAMILY GUY • MEN WHOM MEN ADMIRE THE FINAL WORD: MARKETING TO MEN 01
  3. 3. FOREWORD This isn’t about gender, it’s about acceptance. The framework of understanding we have relied upon to determine what is acceptable or expected of gender is no longer relevant. The codes this framework was built on are changing rapidly. Today’s men are no longer constrained by these shackles and are freer to choose who they want to be than ever before. to counterbalance this. But whereas a hirsute man would traditionally signify a rugged, chapped-hand breed of heterosexuality, and a ripped body told people he was gay, the UK now navigates a sea of beards who visit grooming parlours – traditional salons revived for modern men who spend more time in the bathroom than their wives – and a generation of teenage girls who expect boys to dress like a pop star and sport a six pack. With this in mind, JWT launched a major research initiative to get to the heart of what it means to be a man in today’s fluid gender landscape. What is masculinity? How does it relate to femininity? And how are men feeling about and coping with this rapidly shifting ground? This isn’t about feminine-masculinity, or masculinefemininity for that matter – this is a conversation about acceptance, and the availability of a carte blanche to express yourself in whatever way you choose. There are ripe opportunities here for brands to communicate with men in new and meaningful ways. The modern man has moved beyond defining himself by the traditional hallmarks of masculinity such as strength, power and financial provision. More important now are his values and his capability for emotional support and family provision. This shift is occurring in part as a result of the changing dynamic between the genders. And men seem to be struggling with how to navigate these uncharted waters. Are brands offering men sufficient support? A key shift that we’ve observed is a growing acceptance of men prioritising their appearance. Not only can they take care of their looks without judgement, there is a huge diversity of looks men can adopt. For instance, waxed chests and tight torsos abound in the media, whilst some men have engineered a more virile look 02 NOTE: Generational groups used throughout this report are defined as follows: • Gen Y: Age 18-34 • Gen X: Age 35-47 • Boomers: Age 48+ JWT surveyed 500 British consumers in summer 2013. 03
  4. 4. INTRODUCTION: GENDER BLURRING Traditional concepts of gender are morphing, their boundaries relaxing and shapes becoming less defined. This is changing society’s expectations of men, as well as what they expect for themselves. 74% of all adults agree that gender doesn’t define a person as much as it used to 04 78% of all adults agree that men and women don’t need to conform to traditional roles and behaviours Some brands are starting to respond to this more fluid mind-set with the development of gender-agnostic products and services. In retail for instance, Harrods Toy Kingdom re-opened last year, displaying products organised by theme rather than gender, and Calvin Klein recently launched a make-up range designed for use by both men and women. Centuries-old institutions are changing too. Following a campaign from transgender and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) representatives, the University of Cambridge has opted for a new gender-neutral dress code for its graduation ceremonies. In effect, the change means that men could wear skirts for graduation – and women suits. The fashion industry is highlighting the potential of gender ambiguity by casting androgynous models in genderbending roles. Male model Andrej Pejić models for both men and womenswear whilst Ford Models’ male division signed female model Casey Legler to its books last year: the first female menswear model. 05
  5. 5. “If images of me out there in the world make it that much easier for another kid, and the kids around them or their parents, to get on with the more important business of figuring out who they are and how they can uniquely contribute to the stream of life, then my job is done.” PICTURE PERFECT: THE OUTER MAN Casey Legler, female menswear model 1 Society now presents men with an ever-widening array of acceptable lifestyle options and possibilities. Almost anything goes, and as a consequence, men are confronted by a new battery of decisions to make: to wax or not to wax? Full-time employee or full-time father? While their female counterparts have been navigating these questions for a couple of generations, for many men, it’s still a novel and indeed, daunting experience. 1 I’m a woman who models men’s clothes. But this isn’t about gender, The Guardian, 1 Nov 2013 06 07
  6. 6. SELF-IMAGE: APPEARANCE ANXIETY “I’m not someone who’ll take my top off on the beach. I do seriously have issues, I think. [My wife] thinks I’m getting so skinny, but I look at myself and think I’m getting fat. It’s the way the Hollywood [ideal] is thrown at you… to be Ryan Gosling with a perfect six-pack.” Sam Claflin, Hollywood actor 2 The role of the media in creating unhealthy ideals of women’s beauty has been a hot topic for decades. However, men now feel the same pressure as women to look good. In fact, over three quarters of our male respondents agree that they feel obliged to present a polished exterior. Manorexia’ and Hollywood’s hunger games, The Guardian, 17 Nov 2013 ’ 2 80% 78% 76% These days, there’s more pressure than in the past for men to dress well and be well-groomed These days, there is as much pressure on men to stay in shape/ have a good body as there is on women These days, there is as much pressure on men to dress well and be well-groomed as there is on women (base: all men) And the lengths they will go to to achieve their desired appearance are growing more extreme: men now account for 10% of cosmetic surgery procedures in the UK 3, something that would have been almost unimaginable a decade ago. In 2012, the most popular surgeries for men were nose jobs (952 procedures), eyelid surgery (758 procedures) and breast reductions (642 procedures)4. Men are clearly jumping on the surgical bandwagon to correct the parts of their body that can’t be fixed with a trip to the gym. BRAND IMPLICATIONS: Men are increasingly conscious of the way they look, dress and groom themselves. It will become increasingly important for brands to offer men easily accessible options for putting their best foot forward – without contributing to the pressure they feel. ttitudes towards cosmetic surgery, Mintel, May 2013 A he Guardian Datablog, January 2013 T 3 4 08 09
  7. 7. STYLE: ANYTHING GOES Whilst there is more pressure to look good, the rules around achieving this are more relaxed. To ‘take care of yourself’ now can manifest itself in diverse ways, thanks to a new, more liberal environment. A recent survey by The Westfield Group shows that the average man spends £988 a year on clothes, shoes and accessories and is now browsing or buying clothes on average two and half times per week.5 Men are also starting to embrace traditionally ‘feminine’ items of clothing as part of their wardrobes. What garments do men consider acceptable for men to wear today? 39% Man bag 36% Pink or other traditionally girlish colours 38% Deep V-neck T-shirts 14% Sarong But although attitudes are changing, we shouldn’t expect an immediate transformation of all British men into perfectly groomed, deep V wearers. Alongside the growing acceptance of a more feminine masculinity, there remains a significant proportion of British men who aren’t as liberal: a third say it is not acceptable for men to wear any of these items of clothing. Gender blurring represents a proliferation of, rather than a replacement of, existing forms of masculinity. We can expect to see more variety and experimentation within male wardrobes. BRAND IMPLICATIONS: Brands must recognise the widening spectrum of masculinity and work to celebrate male consumers who choose to be different. This is precisely the point that Casey Legler makes in her discussion of gender (see p.6); she hopes that by breaking the rigid dichotomous mould, she might help to shift perceptions. 12% Figure shapers like Spanx (base: all men) The rise of the male shopaholic: Men now shopping more than twice a week and spending £1,000 on fashion each year, Daily Mail, 9 Oct 2013 5 10 11
  8. 8. BODY IMAGE: TRIM TORSOS For some of our male respondents, staying in shape can be a source of anxiety, on a par with their efforts to balance work and family. While many worries derive from a particular lifestage – dating or parenting, for example – keeping in shape is an anxiety that all men share, even if it is more dominant amongst our younger respondents. To what extent do the following make you feel anxious? When it comes to appearance, concerns centre predominantly around weight and shape: beer bellies, unsatisfactory torsos and love handles. The more commonplace visibility of fit, strong bodies that are groomed to perfection on TV and in advertising has doubtlessly contributed to greater stress around men’s body image, and heightened expectations from the ladies. Men’s appearance anxieties 11% Height 43% Keeping my physique in shape 42% Balancing the demands of work and family 37% Being a committed parent Beer belly 41% 31% ‘Man boobs’ 31% Unsatisfactory abs 32% Fulfilling household responsibilities 28% Navigating the rules of dating (base: all men) 12 27% Love handles 27% Looking stylish and well-groomed (base: all men) 13
  9. 9. THE MAN IN THE MIRROR: MALE GROOMING % of men who think waxing/hair removal is acceptable today Male waxing and grooming appears (unsurprisingly) to be a generationally-driven trend. Depilation and waxing are an acceptable part of the grooming routine for 18-34s, who exhibit greater concern about hirsuteness than older men. % of men who are anxious about excessive hairiness 43% - Gen Y 30% - Gen X 21% - Boomers % of men who think brow waxing is acceptable today 25% - Gen Y 17% - Gen X 9% - Boomers 23% - Gen Y 14 11% - Gen X 4% - Boomers 15
  10. 10. ‘Man-scaping’ is a phrase used with increasing frequency after P&G promoted the idea through their ‘What Women Want’ campaign. Having found that 49% of British men shave below the neck, the company launched a series of online videos offering ‘man-scaping’ shaving tips.6 This trend for more traditional male grooming is reflected in the recent proliferation of facial hair, underlining the point that we are witnessing a diversification of looks, not the replacement of one by another. At the same time, the demand for male waxing in the UK has risen 56% in a year, according to a recent survey by beauty website Wahanda.7 Research from The Skin Health Alliance found that 32% of British men employ hair removal techniques on their nether regions.8 There has even been a small increase in ‘Man-zilians’ (male version of the ‘Brazilian’ – the ‘almost everything off’ female waxing treatment).7 ‘Pejazzle’: the newly adopted term for sparkling up a man’s nether regions; male version of a ‘vajazzle’, a cosmetic treatment made famous by structured UK reality TV show, ‘The Only Way is Essex’, whose perma-tanned, heterosexual male cast members have demonstrated that men can go to extreme levels of preening, but still be masculine and attract a date. As a counterpoint to all the waxing and pejazzling, we’ve seen brands tapping into more aggressive and ‘machismo’ aesthetics and messaging: Old Spice wants you to ‘smell like a MAN, man’, Bulldog skincare says it is ‘man’s best friend’, and Wingman’s multi-purpose toiletries are designed ‘for the real man in all of us’. Body shaving looms as opportunity for P&G Financial Times, July 2013 Wahanda’s male waxing report shows City boys mean business,, 1 Oct 2013 8 ‘Bare down there’ trend hits men, Skin Health Alliance, 8 Jan 2013 6 “You can’t avoid the macro picture: men are shaving less but styling more” Will King, Founder of King of Shaves 9 This may seem paradoxical but the crux of the matter is that it’s not a choice between ‘macho’ or ‘feminine’. It’s about putting in the time and effort to look good, whatever your style might be. BRAND IMPLICATIONS: Increasing interest in grooming amongst the younger generation, coupled with an almost carte blanche to express yourself however you wish, no matter what gender or sexual preference, means that whilst turbocharged ‘machismo’ aesthetics may be in fashion right now, brands need to consider the wider range of potential aesthetic definitions of modern masculinity when it comes to grooming. Focus on male grooming: the smelly hippy’s back, The Grocer, 3 Aug 2013 9 7 16 17
  11. 11. BEAUTY & THE BLOKE What do men consider acceptable for men? Ancient Egyptian and Elizabethan gentlemen knew more than a thing or two about make-up, but in our lifetime, beauty products and procedures have traditionally been the domain of women. Yet in this more experimental age, men and make-up are converging together once again. Attitudes towards men’s use of beauty products are increasingly liberal. 55% Skin Care 34% Lip Balm 21% Facials Whilst Boots the Chemist has been offering make-up tips and tutorials for men for at least the past five years, Debenhams reported an increased spend by men of 24% on male grooming products in 2013 vs. 2012. International fashion designers Tom Ford and Marc Jacobs both launched make-up ranges for men in 2013. The Marc Jacobs “Boy Tested, Girl Approved” collection includes concealer, brow gel and lip balm, and is aimed at men who are not ashamed of being seen to take care of their appearances. 25% 19% Fake Tan 12% Bronzer 10% Foundation of all men are comfortable with ‘man-icures’ For the average man, male make-up is less about rock star eyeliner and more about disguising blemishes and making himself look fresher. 9% Concealer 9% Nail Varnish 7% Eye Liner (base: all men) 18 19
  12. 12. “It is no longer taboo for men to wear beauty products. There is a very masculine approach to it, helping you to look and feel revived after a late night or a long winter, for a job interview or date. There is a way for men to wear it and just look groomed and healthy rather than made up.” UNDER THE SKIN: THE INNER MAN Charlotte Tilbury, celebrity make-up artist 10 BRAND IMPLICATIONS: In order to be ‘their best selves’, it is becoming more common for men to openly enhance rather than change themselves through cosmetics. Men will be looking for brands and products that help them achieve their unique ‘best self’ in a discreet, aspirational and non-judgmental way. Charlotte Tilbury’s modern make-over for men, The Telegraph, 17 Apr 2013 10 20 21
  13. 13. THE END OF MEN? Thus far, we have focused on exterior grooming and appearance. It’s now time to look deeper and get under the skin of the British man. The traditional role of the male in the home and in society is being subverted. 40% of women now earn more than their partners.11 And there was a 65% increase in female directorships in FTSE 100 companies between 2010 and 2013.12 So men are no longer necessarily head of the household, or the office. The media would have us believe that there is major momentum behind women at the moment, so where does this leave the modern man? Attitudes reveal some discomfort amongst significant numbers of men with their changing role and what is expectations of them. 37% “Men can’t be ‘men’ anymore” 49% “My idea of what it means to be a man is no longer widely accepted in society” 49% “Traditional male attributes are frowned upon in today’s society” (base: all men) How four in 10 women earn more than their partner and are challenging traditional role of men as main breadwinner, Daily Mail, 19 July 2013 12, Women on Boards: Two Years On press release, April 2013 11 22 23
  14. 14. In recent years, we have seen the rise of softer, more feminine values – in the workplace and in society as a whole (see p.32). “The future belongs to those of us, female or male, who can adopt and embrace the feminine archetype.” John Hagel, co-founder of the Deloitte Center for the Edge 13 Harder today than 30 years ago 56% 53% 42% Living up to society’s expectations Succeeding professionally Being a good father (base: all men) Hand in hand with feeling that their place in society is changing, 39% of men feel that there aren’t many opportunities to do ‘guy stuff’ these days, though this sentiment is admittedly expressed more strongly by younger men. I feel like there aren’t many opportunities to do ‘guy stuff’ today Traditionally male attributes such as physical strength, power, and dominance may be less desirable or useful today. Perhaps their demise is why 70% of men feel less dominant in society. What’s more, over half of men (53%) think that life in general is harder for them too, compared to thirty years ago. 55% 36% 30% Gen Y Men Gen X Men Boomer Men Perhaps our older respondents feel less of a need to carve out this manly space, or it could be that they just don’t feel as inhibited by society as their younger counterparts. Regardless, what all these results demonstrate is that there is a significant cohort of men for whom the collapse of our traditional understanding of gender is resulting in a questioning of identity. EVE-olution: The Man Cave, Faith Popcorn, April 30 2012 13 24 25
  15. 15. Professor Jenny Graves from the University of Canberra in Australia has even asserted that men are on the road to extinction (see right).14 Whilst this may be an extreme prediction, it underlines the sense of impotence that men may be experiencing as the concept of masculinity is being broken down and reconfigured. Closer to home, as the UK has moved away from primary industry and into a service economy, the need for big, strong men to carry out manual labour has collapsed. In response, we are seeing more opportunities for outlets of traditional masculinity, such as game shooting weekends, meat butchering courses, and physical challenges such as Iron Man and Tough Mudder. Take Wilderness Collective for example, a company that curates ‘legendary adventures for men’, creating a sense of comradeship whilst challenging participants physically and mentally with adrenaline pumping excursions.15 And during the London Collections: Men shows, Topman took over the Old Crown Pub in London to create a hangout for men’s fashion journalists which felt like an honest, old school men’s drinking club.16 The end of men? Expert predicts males will be extinct in five million years, Daily Mail, 2 Apr 2013 Topman takes over pub for men’s show, LS:N Global, 17 June 2013 “You need a Y chromosome to be male… three hundred million years ago the Y chromosome had about 1,400 genes on it, and now it’s only got 45 left, so at this rate we’re going to run out of genes on the Y chromosome in about five million years. The Y chromosome is dying and the big question is what happens then.” Professor Jenny Graves, University of Canberra BRAND IMPLICATIONS: Although the gender lines are blurring and becoming less important in defining people, men still need a space they can call their own. Male friendships are important as they give men the sense of support and community that they need. Brands should seek modern ways to facilitate these male communities, give men the space to be men and to have a place in their lives where women are not. 14 15 16 26 27
  16. 16. DEFINITIONS OF MEN: CHIVALRY IS NOT DEAD “Men’s standards have slipped so far over recent years that any offer of chivalry from a gentleman knocks a woman off their guard and is viewed with outright suspicion.” Gender is a two-part construct; one does not exist in isolation, but in relation to the other. An important element of masculinity is how men relate to, and exist in the context of, women. As men re-assess the definition of their gender, their behaviour towards women is changing too. For instance, chivalry has long been considered the hallmark of a gentleman. Yet half the population now feel that demonstrating chivalry may not go down well. ‘Men can no longer appear chivalrous without appearing sexist’ Mark Hall, Gentleman Creation Officer for 55% 46% Both men and women struggle to define what is appropriate in today’s muddied waters of gender equality and strict political correctness. The chart overleaf shows that many men feel that traditional behaviours such as holding doors open and letting women pass through them first are still relevant, but don’t always action them. This could be caused by fear of causing insult, as our previous data point suggests. 17 28 Men’s chivalrous acts now make women suspicious, Daily Mail, 15 Jan 2013 29
  17. 17. TRADITIONAL BEHAVIOURS: THE CONSIDERATION GAP “I almost always let a woman exit or enter a door first” Behaviours men consider relevant/do Holding the door open for women 83% 74% Paying for first date 60% 66% Letting women exit or enter a door first 77% 68% Paying for most dates 44% 50% Walking on the ‘outside’ of a woman when on the street 50% 44% Pulling out a chair for a woman 64% 39% Making the first move 30% 24% Ordering for a woman when out at a restaurant 21% 11% Consider Still Relevant Almost Always Do (base: all men) This contradiction is especially evident amongst younger men; the percentage difference between what they find relevant and what they do is greatest amongst Gen Y (see chart on right). This generational variance indicates that most men are conscious of being polite, but older men are less nervous about the interpretations of their actions. 30 Boomer Men - 81% Gen Y Men - 44% “I think it is still relevant to let a woman exit or enter a door first” Boomer Men - 83% Gen Y Men - 67% BRAND IMPLICATIONS: We can see that men want to be polite and ‘chivalrous’, but that it is a dying tradition as young men are too nervous about being seen as sexist. Perhaps it is time that chivalry is redefined as kindness and good manners between sexes, rather than holding different genders to different standards. 31
  18. 18. MALE PRIDE: THE PROVIDER Society as a whole is rejecting macho characteristics and values. According to GfK Roper, the most important values in the UK in 2013 were ‘protecting the family’ and ‘stable personal relationships’, whilst the least important ones were ‘status’ and ‘power’. We are not saying that these values are exclusively male or female, but the former two have traditionally been considered more feminine, and the latter two more masculine.18 This could be an indication that society is shifting towards a more female-centered value system. Perhaps the playing field is levelling, meaning that women will no longer have to play by men’s rules to get ahead, as Sheryl Sandberg advocates in ‘Lean In’. In fact men may have to tap into female values more in order to succeed as time goes on (see quote from John Hagel, p.13). Our data on sources of male pride mirrors these shifts. Key sources of pride for men now reflect a blend of traditional and modern responsibilities. Family concerns top the list, whilst cooking and decorating, stereotypically feminine activities, sit alongside DIY and financial provision. But modern men are proud to do it all. Such diversity underlines this shift towards the more liberal translation of masculinity we are seeing. Top Sources of Pride for Men 84% Provide for family financially 77% Decorate your home 18 32 80% 78% Raise children Complete DIY projects 75% 74% Fix tech issues Cook 71% Household chores 62% Expressing emotion 71% Opening doors/ pulling out chairs 61% Carrying heavy items 69% Care of appearance 61% Taking interest in sports GFK Roper, 2013 33
  19. 19. SIGNALS OF MASCULINITY: EMOTIONAL CAPABILITY BRAND IMPLICATIONS: For men of the future, their sense of pride will come from being a well-rounded, responsible person who can provide for those who need him – the ‘gender tradition’ of the task will matter less, especially as society comes to place equal emphasis on what used to be considered ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ values. In fact, they may eventually become de-gendered altogether. Our data shows that the definitive characteristics of a modern man are those that demonstrate who he is on the inside – his manners, values, integrity, capability for family provision and emotional supportiveness. External or learned characteristics such as physical capability, money and looks score less highly, and traditionally ‘male’ accomplishments and material possessions score even lower still. 71% of men believe that the things that define masculinity have changed 34 43% of men agree that men are more well-rounded than they were thirty years ago 35
  20. 20. WHAT DEFINES MEN TODAY Emotional Capability Physical Traits Being a ‘gentleman’ 67% Handyman skills 37% Keeping his word 58% Physical strength 27% His personal values 57% His attractiveness 23% His knowledge/intelligence 53% His ability to make decisions 50% Parenting abilities 49% Emotional support for family 46% His life experiences 42% Comfort with his feminine side 22% (base: all men) All the bastions of hyper-masculinity that so characterised the 1980s have dropped to the bottom of the list: power in the workplace (20%), the car he drives (18%), the attractiveness of his significant other (16%) and his number of sexual conquests (8%). (base: all men) BRAND IMPLICATIONS: Traditional Male Accomplishments Financial support for family 51% Career success 38% How much money he makes 25% Ability to bond over sports 20% Power in the workplace 20% The car he drives 18% Navigational skills 18% Attractiveness of significant other 16% What he eats 10% If the modern man feels more defined by his capability for emotion and support than his physical strength, then brands must acknowledge this. The cues of masculinity are changing, and men will respond to communications that talk to who he is on the inside, as opposed to what car he drives or how much money he earns. (base: all men) 36 37
  21. 21. FAMILY GUY Men’s priorities reflect the focus on parenthood and family values that we have touched on over the previous few pages. For instance, being married or in a committed relationship is more important to our male respondents (85%) than female (79%). Meanwhile, being a good family man who shares responsibility is of great importance, so men would relish having more time to play this part. According to a survey, 79% of men aged between 25 and 34 would consider taking increased paternity leave, which could be up to a year once new rules come into action in 2015.19 77% 40% What percentage of the childcare responsibilities would you say you personally handle? Interestingly, more young men think that they share an equal load of the childcare responsibilities. Bearing in mind that this is self-assessed, hands-on fatherhood seems more likely to be in practice amongst younger fathers, demonstrating the growing prevalence of the more openly emotional and caring male. Gen Y Men % Gen X Men % 10% 1% 0% 3% 20% 4% 4% 3% 30% 29% 17% 29% 22% 21% 26% 50% of men would choose more time with the family above all else Total Men 40% of men say that being a parent is important to them % of childcare carried out 26% 29% 23% 60% 8% 17% 3% 70% 4% 8% 3% 80% 1% 0% 3% 90% 3% 4% 3% 100% 1% 0% 3% Survey by Allen & Overy, Financial Times, March 2013 19 38 39
  22. 22. For years, women who juggle a demanding job, get the kids to their after-school clubs, and still manage to get their legs waxed have been heralded as ‘superwomen’. Our data reveals that 42% of men feel anxious about balancing the demands of work and family. Perhaps men are starting to feel a similar pressure to do, and have, it all. MEN WHOM MEN ADMIRE The men that men admire give us some final clues about how men would like to be and be seen today. Here’s our top ten. 62% Men are embracing their role as fathers believe they are mostly on top of it and doing a decent job BRAND IMPLICATIONS: A new generation of hands-on, emotionally available family men is emerging. They take great pride in sharing an increasingly equal portion of family responsibilities. We may currently see more household purchasing power in the hands of women, but the future is going to see an even greater balance of responsibility weighted towards men. Brands must seek to engage and support fathers too. 40 1. David Beckham – 37% Becks embodies many of the aspirational characteristics of the modern man we have explored. He is a hands-on family man with a successful career, throughout which he has demonstrated commitment and integrity. He is also a well-groomed, fashion pioneer, but one who is nonetheless comfortable with his wife taking centre stage. A truly modern man. 2. Bill Gates – 35% Bill Gates represents the pinnacle of professional success, despite coming across as a fairly normal chap. Popular for his philanthropy, Gates is phenomenally rich, having overcome the failure of his first business. He represents hard work and determination. 41
  23. 23. 3. Sean Connery – 35% Immortalised as one of Britain’s best-loved Bonds, Sean Connery epitomises the gentlemanly behaviour, ‘confidence in a crisis’ and impeccably well-groomed characteristics that men seek to achieve today. 4. Barack Obama – 32% Obama manages his responsibilities with apparent ease and confidence. His election as the USA’s first black president symbolises career achievement and commitment to personal values, against all odds. Clearly a balanced family man, he is comfortable sharing the spotlight with his wife and children. Gracious, gentlemanly, charming and a champion, Federer was named the second most respected man in the world in 2011, after Nelson Mandela. 5. Usain Bolt – 31% 7. Daniel Craig – 25% The second Bond in our top ten, Craig is suave, sophisticated but tough – and a winner with the ladies to boot. 6. Roger Federer – 30 % 8. Bruce Willis – 22% The ultimate action hero with a streak of cool. Willis is the quintessentially tough guy, but with a twinkle in his eye and suggestion of a softer side. Usain Bolt is at the top of his game, peerless in his success but totally likeable and charismatic with it. Famed for pre-race chicken nuggets and slowing down before the tape, Bolt is the champion who doesn’t seem to try too hard. 42 43
  24. 24. THE FINAL WORD: MARKETING TO MEN 9. Frank Sinatra – 20% Dapper, smooth, with a reputation for fast living and an air of authority, the Chairman of the Board represents an old-fashioned gentleman with some serious swagger. 10. Jamie Oliver – 19% The omnipresent Oliver can seemingly do no wrong, with a successful business empire, TV career and some political clout too. What’s more, he’s regarded as a loving family man – despite the fact he must work seventeen hours a day. How does he find the time? What does this list tell us about men’s aspirations? Well, the one thing they have in common is that they have very little in common. The list is remarkably diverse. It features sports stars, politicians, actors, fathers, husbands, old and young men, action heroes, boffins, style icons and geeks. In fact, this list really reflects the multiplicity of options for men. It supports the fact that men in Britain today can be whatever sort of man they please, and be admired for it. Modern men, it seems, are much more complex than the media currently suggests. 44 45
  25. 25. The Male Chameleon As we have seen, masculinity now plays out in a multiplicity of ways. No longer just the hunter-gatherer, British boys are exploring new roles, lifestyles and looks in different areas of their lives. Nor are they as one-dimensional as the media would often have us believe. Just like women, they juggle the roles of parent, partner, provider, worker and one of the boys. Brands need to acknowledge and reflect their complexity. On the flipside, a proliferation of options may be daunting and lead to choice paralysis for those men who were comfortable following tradition. Brands playing in a male space can find ways to support those men who feel overwhelmed by choice, help them navigate all the options they face, and ultimately help them become the best version of the man they want to be. are important to them (see the Robinson’s advert ‘Pals’ for a great example). But this does not mean they are feminised either. Bear in mind too that men still need to be men, that they need time and space to foster their male friendships and enjoy their shared interests. Take for instance, Age UK’s ‘Men in Sheds’ campaign, which seeks to bring together isolated older men in a space where they feel comfortable. Do not underestimate the importance of these man-only respites. Welcome the New Consumer: Men Respect Men’s Emotional Intelligence The cues of masculinity have been redefined in today’s post-recessionary, values-based culture. Manhood has become a more rounded concept, comprising emotional intelligence, a core role in the household as a family man who values relationships, and an emphasis on who you are, not what you have. So recognise that men are in touch with their emotions too, and that their personal and family relationships 46 No doubt you have heard that women hold the pursestrings, that they control 80% of household decisions. Many products and services are consequently tailored to appeal to women and mums. Are they missing a trick? Last year JWT flagged up ‘Dads in the Aisles’ as one of our Things to Watch for 2013. More and more men are venturing boldly into new territories – the supermarket, the grooming parlour, the cosmetic counter, the fashion retailer. Brands will need to take the male perspective into account, repurposing their services, spaces, tools and communications to appeal to them and acknowledging their changing lifestyles. This does not mean heavyhanded emphasis on gender, but simply ensuring that their approach is inclusive, welcoming and informative. 47
  26. 26. For more information contact: Marie Stafford Planning Foresight Director JWT London 1 Knightsbridge Green London SW1X 7NW +44 (0) 207 656 7000 48 49
  27. 27. #ideaswithintelligence 50