How are they portrayed women in adverts?.- Marketing professionals tend to think they are doing well, but 45% consumers do not agree

The vast majority (91%) of marketing professionals believe that they are succeeding in showing women in their ads in a way that they create positive models worth to be followed. Against this oppinion, a 45% of the audience believes that the ads continue to show women in an inappropriate manner.
At least this is what the study AdReaction: Getting gender right by Kantar Millward Brown shows.

Are perhaps advertising and marketing professionals still contemplating their own navel?.
If they do, and so it seems taking into account the data published by kantar Millward Brown, they and their clients are paying a high price for this mistake. The average cost of failing to adequately present women and failing to address the female collective amounts to $ 9,000Bn interms of brand equity loses.

According to the research made by Kantar Millward Brown, gender balanced brands’ worth is higher, their value reach an average of $ 20.600Bn, compared to the $ 16,100 million valuation achieved by brands with a sharp female component and the $ 11,500 million that are worth, on average, brands with a male bias.

Stereotypes still working under the surface

Gender parity may be experiendcing an advance within the ad and marketing industries, but there still remains a long way to walk in how women are presented and addressed not only in ads but in commercial communications in general.
Just as an example, whenever people of both genders appear in ad campaigns, men enjoy a 38% greater chance of being presented in a prominent position than women.

Capturas del anuncio de perfume Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue (2017). El "gran avance feminista" en el anuncio, con respecto a la versión anterior consiste en que  la modelo comienza a bajarle el bañador al modelo al final del anuncio. Por lo demás el hombre "domina ampliamente,  desde las alturas, en el salto al mar y en la barca donde se sitúa también encima...Y eso que se trata de anunciar la versión Eau Intense para mujer.
Snapshots from the Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue eau the cologne ad (2017). The “great feminist advance” in the spot, with respect to the previous version, is that the female model begins to take of the swimsuit of the male model at the end of the advertisement. Leaving aside this detail the man shows his dominance during all the spot, on the top of the  the cliff,when he jupmps into the sea and on the boat where he places upside over the woman … And all these images are meant to advertise  the Eau Intense version for women.

Advertising keeps on perpetuating the female stereotype: Most ads show women in “nice” or “loving” roles.
Another fact shown by kantar Millward Brown research is that only a 6% of all campaigns include a female character “with authority”.

A huge mistake but still common is targetting with an ad just male consumers or female consumers when trying to market any merchandise or serv ice, specially in the case of household products or products for babies. The 98% of the campaigns marketing laundry and baby products are still aimed at female consumers, while today men also take the purchase decissions on them.

Although both men and women respond equally well to humour, only a 22% of ads featuring women use comedy as a way to effectively connect with the audience.

This is the situation so far according to Kantar Millward Brown’s study AdReaction: Getting gender right. Despite this, a number of neuroscientific tests and statistics show that presenting women in a different way would improve the effectiveness of the ads.

Creativity impacts mainly by its quality, not by being gender targetted

Another lesson to extract from Kantar Millward Brown research is that creating ads based on a gender targetting is not so needed as usually accepted. There is no evident difference in the response to ads deppending on the audience gender. Good ads tend to be considered good by everyone, and bad ads are bad for everyone, regardless of the gender of the consumer the ad is meant for.

Ads portraying female characters who show their authority work better

According to the Kantar Millward Brown study, ads in which a woman assumes a role with authority generate more expressiveness (measured through facial coding), in part because this fact generates a positive surprise.
Female characters with authority also turn the ads far more credible and persuasive, and both features help to increase sales at least in the short term.

Image on the headline.- Attribution to the oauthor of the image Flower picture created by freepik –

Related external links:

Link to download the study AdReaction: Getting gender right

Dolce & Gabbana Light blue eau intense for women (announcement of 2017)

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Cannes Lions 2018 Interview with Madonna Badger

ANA’s #SeeHer movement releases GEMfit findings to help brands build gender equality ROI effective ads

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