Social Question

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Do men fall for this?

Asked by Simone_De_Beauvoir (38975points) December 5th, 2011

Here is an article nicely summarizing what happens when marketers ‘masculinize’ products usually targeted to women. When you take the information in all at once, it really seems quite ridiculous. Do men really fall for this? Isn’t it obvious how stupid these kinds of ads make men out to be (same for ads targeted at women, don’t you worry)? I know advertising targets the lowest common denominator and exaggerates gender norms, but come on, these ads are pathetic. What do you think?

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55 Answers

WestRiverrat's avatar

It worked for Marlboro cigarettes. They were first targeted at women but didn’t sell. So they hired a cowboy actor and the rest is history.

Paradox25's avatar

I know I don’t but I can’t speak for other men. All I have to say is that if maintaining such an extreme masculine image of yourself is this important compared to being yourself as an individual than you truely have a few loose screws upstairs. In the end though like I’ve said before it comes down to what sells to the consumers, more so than the actual tactics by companies to attempt to sell their products.

submariner's avatar

No, we don’t fall for it (at least I don’t), and yes, it is obvious. I laughed when I saw a “Nivea for Men” ad a while back, thinking, “who are you kidding?”

WestRiverrat's avatar

Sometimes the overuse of the gender card can turn off a target audience.

bkcunningham's avatar

I’ve always been amazed by men’s hair color. What is the difference in men’s hair and women’s hair color? Nothing except the package. How about Irish Spring soap? Manly? Yes. But I like it too. Or Secret antiperspirant..“Strong Enough for a Man, Made for a Woman.” Really? Are your pits that different than mine?

Do men fall for it? I guess sales figures would show that someone, either a man or a woman who makes the purchase, fall for all sorts of advertising gimmicks.

filmfann's avatar

I will believe it when they name something “Damn”.
“I need some Damn cereal.”
“I went to the store to buy some Damn quiche.”
“Do you like the smell of my Damn candles?”

digitalimpression's avatar

Being that I find most ads utterly horrendous, yes.

asmonet's avatar

Most ads are terrible and no one falls for them and while I’m not saying all men are like the ones in that paint commercial… I absolutely know some from my art classes that ARE THAT GUY.

HungryGuy's avatar

Not at all. This man uses Ivory soap, Johnson’s Baby Shampoo, and Dreft Laundry Detergent for babies, because these products are as free of nasty chemicals and perfumes and dyes as is possible…not because of any ad campaign.

Blondesjon's avatar

Man, am I the only fella here in the mood to but some fuckin’ paint or what?

jaytkay's avatar

Most ads are terrible and no one falls for them

Hmmm, I say the opposite.

Companies spend billions on advertising and marketing because it works.

Very few consumer products are necessary. The 50 anti-antiperspirants you see on the shelf don’t do 50 different things. Whether you buy a Honda Civic or a Hummer, you travel the same roads at the same speed.

We buy particular products only because of insidious clever advertising and marketing.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I’m shocked @Simone_De_Beauvoir… You of all people distinguishing masculine from femine anything? You must be going soft…

Since when did salad dressing become a feminine product anyway?

“Mandressing”… got a nice ring to it. Might keep my butt from getting too big!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I don’t actually think these are masculine or feminine (since I don’t really care to associate any inanimate object as such or even animate objects), they’re just marked as such. Gender norms and markers exist in our society even if they’re arbitrary and clearly they’re there for analysis. Why would I, a scholar of gender, deny that gendered marketing exists?

everephebe's avatar

I make my own salad dressing, cause I’m a man!
Er…. well… you get the idea, I has penis.

Those ads fail to do anything for me. You won’t see me carrying a purse around but I don’t give a good god damn about what is or isn’t manly.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@everephebe :) i can has your penis? insert simone cat meme

judochop's avatar

“Do men fall for this?”

@Simone_De_Beauvoir men will fall for anything.

everephebe's avatar

Poor balance maybe?~

TexasDude's avatar

This is a great question. Personally, I don’t fall for it (I make a conscious effort to avoid the mind-altering effects of advertising as best as I possibly can), but I can’t speak for every male out there.

I’ve noticed that advertising is becoming more and more absurd, and this type of advertising seems to me to be just another result of this trend. It must be working in some respect, or else advertisers wouldn’t be using this (or any of the other bizarre marketing strategies) that seem so popular these days.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@everephebe Ah yes, Alex often speaks of this. He states that the reason he can’t (supposedly) figure out how to vacuum (as shown in commercials) is that his giant dong gets in the way of the vacuum cleaner and manages to suck up dust all on its own.

everephebe's avatar

That sounds painful.^

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@everephebe Or man-some or something. LOL. I don’t know since I can’t vacuum either.

everephebe's avatar

I prefer hardwood floors and rugs myself. The only thing domestic that I truly suck at is ironing. I vacuum just fine, but I hate carpets.

HungryGuy's avatar

@everephebe – I know hardwood floors are all the rage today, but I don’t see the appeal in walking on cold hard floors :-p

everephebe's avatar

There are these things called slippers…

WestRiverrat's avatar

@HungryGuy hardwood floors, a bearskin rug and a fireplace are the perfect setting for some romance.

King_Pariah's avatar

Meh. I think I can comfortably say I don’t fall for anything except Mustang ads. But is it falling for a manly ad when you have been in love with that car since you first stepped into the US?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@WestRiverrat ”...the perfect setting for some romance.”

You forgot the bottle of Mad Dog and White Castle Slingers.

JLeslie's avatar

Yes of course, and so do women. Packaging and advertising is very effective. How many women look at the shampoos packaged for men? Probably very few. Part of it has to do with what appeals to men, and part of it is we look to identify with the models or actors who might be promoting a product. Men aren’t likely to buy Clinique or Lancome, although once in a blue moon we did have a man come to a counter for help, they are more likely to buy Lift Off products by Aramis. Some products are specifically for men, but many could be used by either gender.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies actually it would be my home bottled mulberry or chokecherry wine and some bacon wrapped dove breasts.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

hehe… you said “dove”... hehe. But your evening sounds divine @WestRiverrat.

I can’t believe I fell for this question

bkcunningham's avatar

The 2011 advertising cost for the Super Bowl is going to be $3 million for a 30 second commercial. That’s $1 million for every 10 seconds. Tell me advertising doesn’t pay.

HungryGuy's avatar

@WestRiverrat – Nah. I prefer a well-equipped dungeon :-p

wundayatta's avatar

So wait… are you trying to tell me that I’m not going to have all kind of sex if I paint my nails? You mean if I light my motor oil candle (which really, I do not have, honest) the chicks will not be flocking to my house for the old in and out?

I am so bummed. I thought I could be a manly man. Now I am inconsolable. I am going over to @Blondesjon‘s house and we are going to paint us up a man cave. Surely the chicks can not resist that! And if the chicks is not cumming, then at least Jon is there. Rrrrrrrr. He is such manly man!

Blackberry's avatar

Don’t mean to sound like an asshole, but this only does work for the lowest denominator: the dumb guys that watch sports religiously, know everything about cars, and think dressing in nice clothes make you possibly gay. Everyone knows one of these guys: their whole life is just them trying to justify their existence by taking every opportunity to validate their manliness.

fundevogel's avatar

Honestly, I’m going the opposite tact here. I as a woman that loathes a decent amount of feminine trappings associated with products I would probably be more likely to buy “masculine” versions because:

1. they’re funny
2. the typical trappings geared to women are lame

So if I was someone that bought smelly candles you could be sure I would be getting the one with a comically masculine name. But they’re pointless and smelly so I won’t buy them regardless of how they’re packed.

blueiiznh's avatar

The article lost my interest at Man Dressing! Seriously, that is the best they could come up with as an example?

fundevogel's avatar

Actually I specifically buy men’s razors. Forget the pastel disposables ladies, replaceable blades is where it’s at.

Blackberry's avatar

Sorry, my last answer sounds harsh and judgmental. I know cool guys that are like that. But I meant that some people have a very typical personality. It’s very easy to put them in a category and I imagine marketing to them seems effortless.

wundayatta's avatar

Frankly, I think most notions are masculinity are laughable. The more macho someone wants to be, the more insecure I think they are. Women may like tall, strong men with monster cocks (and they have said so here on fluther), but I am what I am, and you like it or you stay clear of me (unless you enjoy torturing yourself). I’m not to many women’s taste, but I don’t have to be. One is enough, if she’s the right one. The one I married gave up incense for me. Also perfume. I have nothing against these things on a sociological level. It’s just that they give me headaches. How manly is that?

bob_'s avatar

You know, men don’t all react the same way.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@bob_ Really? What news.

dappled_leaves's avatar

I notice that when someone suggests that advertising doesn’t lead viewers to purchase the products, the response is “it works because companies spend a lot on advertising”. I agree that they shouldn’t spend a lot unless it works, but do we know for sure that it does work? I know that I’m not swayed by tv or magazine ads to buy products (packaging might be a different story). Is it possible that these companies are in an advertising arms race simply because they’re slaves to common wisdom?

submariner's avatar

A successful ad-man once said, “Half of all advertising is wasted. But we don’t don’t know which half.” Or something along those lines.

ratboy's avatar

I made myself a manlier man by buying the most macho tampons on the planet, but I can’t quite figure out what exactly one does with them.

But there was a little stir a while ago about middle school girls soaking tampons in vodka prior to inserting them in their vaginas. It was claimed that the boys followed suit by shoving the same up their asses. Is vodka a gender specific liquor?

dannyc's avatar

Pathetic seems to be observed when it has the light of observation and bombardment of the senses. One might deny the effect, but marketers know better. Men are easy prey. Just watch football ads on Sunday. That is what pathetic really is.

DominicX's avatar

The first and most popular comment on the site is so true:

“All this suggests to me [is] that marketers understand that masculinity is a construct so fragile that it can be destroyed by things like tea or names of flowers.”

augustlan's avatar

Mr. Augustlan is the ‘manliest’ man I know, and he thinks those things are ridiculous. Full disclosure, though… I did buy him some ‘manly’ shampoo, but only because of the scent. If they made a ‘womens’ or neutral shampoo with that same scent, I’d have bought that, instead.

Blackberry's avatar

I was once criticised by a male co worker for saying I use a freaking loofah (loofa, lufah, lufa?!). How much of a pansy am I? I should be using sand paper instead.

Keep_on_running's avatar

The chunky muesli package was the funniest, guarana in your cereal? xD

@Blackberry Why not extend your use of sand paper to other areas of your body!

Keep_on_running's avatar

You have a special place in my heart…

sinscriven's avatar

Well, thankfully it doesn’t always work. The Dr. Pepper 10 campaign was a clusterf*ck.

Even though they were targeting the right market (men 18–39) with a product type (diet soda) that is predominantly consumed by females, their very tongue in cheek extreme machismo overshadowed the actual product. And it wasn’t even taking itself seriously.

It makes me sad, cause this probably killed the soda, and it does taste better than Diet DP. :(

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