Thursday, February 12, 2009

New AdWomen blog

Since now, you will be able to follow AdWomen in the new blog.

New image, new blog but the same philosophy.

You are welcome to the new

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Women buy the 50% of cars

Despite the fact that cars are not men only-area any longer, marketers keep ignoring women at car dealers and they turn to men. That may be the reason why 77% of women prefer to go to a dealer accompanied by a man, in spite of being perfectly capable to do it alone.

The following are a couple of advices for car brands which are targeting women:
  • Women buy from a person who they trust, so it’s especially important to create a good relationship between salesman and a client.
  • She is the one who is going to make a decision: buy or not to buy, so make her feels as a client. Concentrate on communicating to her, and not to her men.
  • 54% of women in USA base their purchase decision on information found out in the Internet. 40% of European women do the same. Think of women at the time of developing your website.
  • Women like to share experiences. If they have a good experience, they will tell it to their friends. If they don’t or if they have a negative one… they will do the same.
What kind of cars do women like?
According to some European reports, as an investigation by AutoScout24´s, women pay attention to design, security and price and they prefer cars with five doors, so they can park and move easily in the city jungle.

Spot Nissan

A report by LineaDirecta points out the importance of having a CD player, cup holders and a space to leave things as a handbag.

Only for women
Volvo has been the first, and the only one until now, to create a prototype of a car designed especially for women, by a group of 5 women. After 15 months of an intensive work and opinions given by company’s specialists and employees, Volvo launched the prototype during the International Motor Show of Ginebra in 2004.

This model allows women to forget about car’s maintenance. The car itself lets the driver know that it needs checking. What shall I do with my bag? This won’t be a problem no more, because Volvo YCC has a separate space for the woman’s bag reserved between the front seats. You can also find handy pigeon-holes saved for keys, coins or a mobile phone. Moreover it is very easy to park because it calculates the space left and helps the driver to move the steering wheel.

Although the prototype was a success, the Swedish brand declared that YCC was a concept car and was never planned to be on sale. However, some of the features have been put into production in other Volvo models.

Examples of strategies to women

Other car producers, that use to identify their brands with men, adapted their strategies to women.

In 2008 this brand included in the communication strategy a promotion for women: they offered prizes as beauty products, spa visits and discounts. According to Daniel Papa, Bussiness Development Manager, the brand wants that women feel comfortable when visiting dealer canters.

In Argentina, this brand organized a special activity thought to improve drivers´ technique and motorcycles´ knowledge and skills.

Moreover, Honda sponsors different women’s competitions, as Surfing or Trial.

Ford approaches women by sponsoring Nike 5K Women Race, a competition dedicated to women and aimed to celebrate the International Women´ Day.

Women’s economic independence means the incorporation of women into sectors considered as masculine. The automotive sector is one of them, and now it has to develop new strategies directed to women.

In China, Volkswagen is one of the sponsors of Table-Tennis Women Championship. This sport has been strategically chosen, as the vast majority of Chinese society and mass media follow it.

Also in the Internet
In the Internet we can find webs directed exclusively to women and dedicated to cars, car maintenance… Here and here are some examples:

And what do you think?

Women can’t park, “it had to be a woman”… Fortunately the situation is changing, and we are gaining the control of the roads. We do not only occupy the co-driver’s seat or choose the colour of our man’s car, but we buy and drive cars. Don’t forget it! Dealers and repair shops can’t keep on smelling of masculinity, and marketing strategists must begin to think of women as a real target.

Men’s kingdom is falling apart!

What kind of car are you looking for? Would you buy the Volvo YCC? What would you like car dealers to offer you?

Sources: Mujeres&Cia, Supermotor, Tribe, Terra.

Monday, February 9, 2009

How Nescafé convinced women

It’s 1949. Nescafe launches a new product: an instant coffee. The product’s advantage is clear: the instant coffee dissolves in hot water within just three minutes. Indeed, pre-tests show pleased potential consumers.

With its first campaign, Nescafé commits a mistake in communication to women
However, at the time of introducing the product into US market, sales results are disappointing. Nestlé begins a research:”Why don’t you buy an instant coffee? I don’t like the taste”

Nescafé wanted to go further and made a casual focus, on two groups of housewives. Each group was given a shopping list. The lists were identical expect for one detail: one contained Nescafé instant coffee and the other one, a grind coffee. Each group was asked to describe the type of woman who has written the shopping list. The group whose list contained Nescafé, described the woman as lazy, unorganised, careless, spendthrift, bad wife and mother.

Nescafé found out what the real reason was—why consumers didn’t buy Nescafe’s new product: women felt that if they reduce time that they use to dedicate for preparing coffee every day, their families might consider them lazy housewives. In 50´s, Nescafe’s advantages have been seen as something negative.

Women—the new target
Then, what could Nescafé do? The brand launched a new advertising campaign. The slogan: “The instant coffee will allow you to dedicate more time for more important things!” helped to change the opinion of American housewives.

And, what were those more important things? Looking after family, of course.

Instant coffee was discovered in 1901 by Satori Kato, an American chemist with Japanese origins. The invention caused a controversy. Many experts, especially Italian ones, were convinced that a good cup of coffee can only be made by highly qualified baristas.

This and the housewives resistance meant a great challenge for product’s sales. Nescafé had to point out product’s advantages without going against the women’s need to be recognized as dedicated housewives.

Nescafé was not selling a product, but an illusion of what it could do for its user. The brand began a campaign, which included previously mentioned slogan and introduced the product into the diary routine of women. It referred to relatives living far away and was aimed to cause the bad conscious: ¨it’s a long time since you’ve written them a single letter¨. It was said, that with the instant coffee, now there was no excuse for not writing. Housewives could do it perfectly, just if they decided to save some time prepareing an instant coffee.

These brilliant campaigns succeed in 50´s and it works nowadays.

Nescafé changes along with women.
Nowadays, women don’t need to be said that they should save time. Women want to save time, and not only because of their families. They want some extra time to look after themselves, and to…save time, after all!

In 80´s, Nescafé aimed its campaign to a more independent woman:

In last years, Nescafe’s campaigns are aimed not only to women. The brand has used the concept of friendship:

Current Nescafe’s ads are funny and sensual:

In difficult times, Nescafé made women buy a product that seemed to jeopardize
their image of dedicated housewives. The brand had enough empathy to understand the women’s background and adjust the product into their reality.

Nescafé managed to adapt its campaigns to different moments in women’s lives, since 1949 to nowadays, when the brand shows an independent and self-confident woman.

That’s without doubt a great strategy.

Sources: FAO, University of Sydney, Nestlé, Jon Williamson

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Keri Smith: Living out Loud

How do you imagine it is?

When a colleague of mine lent me the book, and she asked me this question, I knew the book would not be the typical book of a renowned professional, who share his/her experiences.

Keri Smith, the author, with all her experience and knowledge, could have written something like a creativity guide. However, when I have the book in my hands I find a cover that could have been a face of a fairytale: with an irregular and colourful typography.
Precisely the childhood is the backbone of the book—this stage of life when your mind is free of prejudices and conventions, when everyone is who they want to be and dream of what they’ll become in the future. It’s a time when you do what you want without thinking about consequences. A time when creativity flows free. That’s why Keri suggests us some games to unblock our mind, invites us to let our imagination fly and do things that we left behind, and never tried to do them again.

Leaving routine, making up, going deep inside of our minds and letting us go. Sometimes with friends, sometimes alone, we have to learn how to dream again. Trusting that we can do it and that we can be whoever we want to be. We only have to propose it to ourselves.
Living out loud is a game, a game where we are the main characters and where creativity slides down among dreams, wishes, crazy ideas and a lot, but a really big ¨lot¨, of optimism.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Interview with Emma Hill

Hereby we inaugurate a series of interviews with some great personalities, girls only!
who will share with us their point of view on advertising & women.

We start up with the reproduction of an interview made by ihaveanidea. Thank you!

Ladies, gentlemen…let’s switch on the microphones!
The following interview was made by ihaveanidea to Emma Hill, Creative Director at DDBO Melbourne:

ihaveanidea: Well we always like to start at the beginning. So how did you become interested in this crazy field we call advertising? I understand your foray into the business was not exactly “average.”

Emma: It all began on a small non-tropical island called Tasmania, at the bottom of Australia. At my school in Year 10, we were all given an A-Z book of jobs from which we had to decide what we wanted to do as work experience. I skipped over “Anal Prober” and “Barbarian” and landed on “Copywriter.” All the skills you needed were listed, and they seemed to match mine, so I stopped there, shut the book and said I wanted to spend my week in an ad agency. Never have wondered what might have been listed under “D”.

ihaveanidea: Ah, a pity. You missed out on "Darth Vader understudy" which might've been cool. So once your mind was set, how did you go about making that happen? Would a high school student even know about putting a portfolio together?

Emma: Surprisingly, BBDO has an office in Hobart. Is there nowhere the might of the BBDO network does not infiltrate? Anyways, BBDO Hobart had a CD that I asked to meet. I had a folio full of ideas I did on work experience, poems I’d written and ideas that now, when I think about them, make me feel very, very embarrassed.

He told me the old “there’s nothing doing in the creative department at the moment”, but his advice was just to get a foot in the door. And they happened to need a receptionist.

A week later I was working on the BBDO switchboard during the day, and every shit brief no one else wanted at night when I got home.

ihaveanidea: Sounds very superhero-ish. Was this a secret identity of yours, or did your co-workers know you were actively pursuing a creative job?

Emma: Oh, they knew, but the new receptionist working on the 10X2 press ads for the local used car yard wasn’t very threatening to them, I don’t think.

ihaveanidea: So at one point did they realize you were far better at creating ads than forwarding phone calls?

Emma: All the best 10X2’s in the world didn’t really help to be honest. After reception, the agency moved me to media. Then two years later, to account service. After another two years as a suit, I entered a National Radio Writers competition for first year creative’s – which I kinda lied about being – and won. The day after that, BBDO offered me a job in creative.

It was a long road, but now I can write ads, sell them to a client and book them.

ihaveanidea: And not only that, you can tell others how to do their own ads now. How was the journey from copywriter in Hobart to Creative Director in Melbourne?

Emma: It felt rough and rugged at the time, but looking back, it was pretty amazing really. I landed here in Melbourne and was lucky enough to be teamed up with the quirkiest, most interesting senior art director I’ve ever known. Tony Rogers. He taught me to look at the world from a crazy side as well as the strict and responsible answering the brief side.

We had a lot of ideas get through early, so got momentum really quickly as a team. We made a lot of TV for big brands, solved some big problems and won a few pitches. Then I was appointed Creative Director on a fashion retail account, which had massive concept turn over. We made telly spots every three weeks for different products. It was great fun, very frantic and a great way to get a grip on CD’ing.

After that, I was made Deputy CD of the department, then CD of the whole joint. Now, I’m CD of a group, which I much prefer. It means I get home before 2 AM.

ihaveanidea: Your career is rather unique in that, unlike many other esteemed CDs who moved from agency to agency and country to country, you've stayed in one place for many years and grew alongside it. What's your secret? What keeps you grounded in one place while other creatives wander the earth?

Emma: There’s no secret to why I’ve stayed in the one shop, although Clemenger Melbourne is actually more like a department store than a shop. I’ve been pretty open about the fact that as long as Clemenger kept evolving, doing great work and hanging on to what is probably one of the best client lists in the country, leaving would mean trying to find an agency that either had all that, or didn’t, and then spend five years trying to get it up to the level of this one.

People may read that and think I’m maybe lazy, but I think the opposite applies.
Plenty of people are asked to leave an agency after two or three years cause they get dangerously comfortable. I’ve worked my butt off to be here, and to stay here.

And just as importantly, love keeps me here too. He’s very worth staying put for.

ihaveanidea: But if you could ply your trade in any other part of the globe, where would you go? Or is Australia just too magical to leave?

Emma: I did always want to work in New York. I snuck off all espionage style one year, took my book over, spoke to some head hunters and actually got a couple of offers, which I was really considering. The only problem was these offers were made to me on September 10, 2001. The town kinda shut down the day after.

That said, Australia is a fun market. Approval levels are mammoth, though. They tend to go on for miles. Some of the clients can be quite conservative. But there are also great clients, great budgets, and great ideas here. Australia has a super knack of laughing at itself. I think you’d put our style somewhere between the wit of the UK and the quirk of the US.

ihaveanidea: You're an extremely successful CD in a world where it seems tougher for a female to reach the top. There are lots of press release style statements about how the Old Boys Club of this business is no more, but what are your thoughts?"

Emma: I think boys clubs in advertising are unavoidable, simply because there are more men at the top, working very closely together, under very stressful circumstances. So they tend to stick together through all that. It’s kind of a shame it’s got a negative label.

Personally, I’ve never been shut out of the tree house, or told I can’t be in the gang. I thank my parents. I grew up with two sisters, but we went to a co-ed school from kinder to year 12. I’ve always felt as comfortable hanging out with guys as much as girls. I can skip really well, but I can also kick a football.

I think the way Neil French said what he said was bullshit, but I think he also had a point. It’s very hard to do both. I believe in order to be brilliant in advertising, it needs your full attention. If a women in advertising decides she wants to go be brilliant at something else, like being a mum, so what? If there were awards for breast feeding, maybe it would seen as a more worthwhile thing to go and do.

ihaveanidea: I’ve read somewhere that you’re not a big fan of researching creativity, somewhat infamously declaring that a focus group “should only last 32 seconds: 30 to watch the ad and two seconds to react.” Are you still of that mindset?

Emma: Ahhh jeez. Yes, I did say that once, and research says, I’ll never live it down. I said it after sitting behind one-way glass way too may times, watching way too many groups rock up angry and tired after work, pull an idea apart limb by limb, eat free biscuits, get $50 in an envelope and leave. But their first reactions feel like their most honest to me. And if that’s that they hate it then fair enough. I can accept that.

But sometimes, their first reactions are really positive and natural – like laughing, chuckling, smiling etc. It’s just that then, when they’re asked the inevitable, “what don’t you like about this idea?” kind of questions, they seem to get all negative on purpose, because they feel like that’s what they’re being paid for, and I get frustrated, because that’s not how they view ideas at home.

I like researchers. Some of my best friends are researchers. (Actually that’s a lie.)

ihaveanidea: You have an incredible record of championing young talent; you've participated in our Portfolio Night, you lecture at AWARD School, and of course you're a judge in this year's YGAward. What sorts of trends are you noticing with each batch of young creatives that you meet each year? Is technology making them better? Are they losing certain skills that were crucial years ago?

Emma: At the risk of sounding old and grumpy, what amazes me about “young talent” I meet looking for work in the industry, is actually how “talented” they believe they are, without much to back it up.

I’ve meet a lot of guys who are extremely confident, who seem to just expect to walk into a job like that (snaps fingers). And then when you offer feedback, or some dead briefs to work on to show their stuff, maybe help beef up their folios, you never hear from them again. It’s quite crap and disappointing.

That being said, it means the really talented, really passionate, really persistent young talent really stands out. They are generally the ones with excellent ways of looking at the world, what technology can do, and are open to hearing feedback and then doing something with it. Those are the guys that don’t make me grumpy at all.

And are probably already working here.

ihaveanidea: Since I'm assuming it will be the most passionate juniors entering the YGAward, can we expect you to judge the work as harshly and critically as you would the work on a Cannes or Clios judging panel? Don't sugarcoat anything, give to to 'em straight!

Emma: Absolutely. It’s called Young Guns. You don’t just get a prize for being the ‘young’ part.

Interview by: Brett McKenzie, Chief Writer of ihaveanidea

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Paper creativity

Although it seems incredible, this fantastic illustration is made with paper, yes, paper!

Yulia Brodskaya is the author and apart from paper graphics, she surprises with great typographies and graphic designs.

Without doubts, this is an example of creativity to follow. It demonstrates that the creativity may be hidden in the mere materials, and what brings this creativity to life is an idea what do you want to do with them. A simple paper can become a great piece of art.

Yulia Brodskaya

She was born in Russia, where she started her career designing contemporary office decoration for Moscow based companies. At the same time she was studying for the first degree in Graphic Design.

Since 2004 she combined career of an illustrator with a freelance graphic designer work. She won 1st prize in the Russian Conceptual Packaging Design Competition and she is a member of the International Society of Typographic Designers since 2006.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Real beauty?

As we mentioned before, male and especially female consumers do not like adverts showing perfect models.

FWT-Crew reacted actively by creating an ad busting action. They converted an advert of CDs, launched in Berlin, into a social claim.

The action consists of overlaying the image with stickers of Adobe Photoshop’s interface panels. It makes the message change absolutely. In this form the advert doesn’t sell CDs any more, but it makes people wonder about the real beauty of the pop stars, and about how it is used in advertising.

This ad busting is full of irony and creativity and makes people stop and think about the issue.

FTW-Crew (Mr. Tailon, Baveux Prod., Kone & Epoxy) is a group of street artist who use public space in order to bring to life all kind of social topics and make a social change.

Sources: Barcelona´s Chiringuito, Brand Infection, Cool hunting.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Agency: Chiat Day
Advertiser: V&S
Creative Director: Gerry Graf
Creative Director:
Rob Smiley
Art Director: Pam Fujimoto y Phil Covitz
Copywriter: Brandon Davis
Photographer: Vincent Dixon

Moms are the only ones who will keep on shopping during the crisis

Every year moms spend $2.1 trillions in the US, with projection of reaching $3 trillions by 2012, informs Maria Bailey, CEO at BSM Media.

This Group growths and is loyal to products and services. Now more than ever it’s important to understand this group, which is the one that will keep on shopping despite the crisis.

Mothers control 85% of household spending and 70% of them feel that companies don’t know how to talk to them.

Following data is also meaningful:
  • 90% of mothers use the same products at home and the office
  • 88% of mothers feel entirely responsible for the household budget
  • For the first time in history the market comprises four generations of mothers
Sara Moore and Betsy Westhoff, the founders of MomWise spoke to mothers around the World and they reached the following conclusions about how to get with marketing to moms. Here comes a brief manual:

Understand their priorities
Satisfying family´s needs is the priority for moms. Little rewards will come later on.

Economic home
81% of mothers have cut back eating out and 72% have reduced out-of-house entertainment. This means that mothers now interact with brands in a different way, so companies should think how mothers could enjoy their products without leaving home.

Celebrate savings
Sales work, but lately everything pretends to be a bargain. It’s a high time to convert shopping experience into something positive, and not try to save on quality or service.

Help her
Facing the crisis, in order to cut some spending, mothers will undertake new tasks at home: manicures, hair coloring… This means that brands should try to simplify their products.

Moms want both: economic and eco-friendly products. They won’t pay extra to be green any more.

However, Lisa Druxman, Mompreneur´s columnist, stands out the importance of realizing that not all moms are the same. She describes three moms´ generations: baby boom moms, Gen X moms and Millennium moms.

One of the most important common characteristics of all moms is the amazing power of word of mouth. As points out BSM Media, mothers love to talk, compare and share. Once you win one mom’s trust, you can be sure that she will talk about the brand all around. But it works the other way round as well: once you disappoint her with the product, she won’t hesitate to do a black PR.

This segment is the only one that, despite the crisis, will keep shopping. After all, children have to eat, wear clothes, go to school… The only thing that has changed is the way they buy, and here is the gap for marketing. Understanding mothers is the only way for companies to insert their product into mom’s basket.

What other factor marketers should take into consideration when talking to mothers?

Source: AdAge, Marketing Moms, Entrepreneur, Forbes, Istock.

Mango knows how to get along with women

Mango fashion brand is present in all the continents and chooses the best way to get along well with women of each continent.

Smart, in vogue and inexpensive. Mango has set up its stores in the world’s most important cities, selling elegance and simple clothes that women like.

Apart from its clothes, Mango takes care about its marketing strategy in order to approach more efficiently the women’s world and create a “World of Mango”.

Women Designers
Designers and famous actresses are who create exclusive collections for Mango. Penélope and Mónica Cruz, Sandrina Fasoli, Elizabeth hurley and Adam Lippes are some of them.

The Mango’s online store is design with all details. Lucid conditions, phone service, different way of payment, refund… everything is very clear, and clothes can be chosen by categories: style, garment, price or size.

In addition, for each garment you can find advices on how to match clothes perfectly.
Online discounts are significant.

Online and offline fashion shows
Shows where new Mango collections are launched always become big events. Every time the scenery is carefully designed. The events are always attended by famous people, like Naty Abascal, Alejandra Prat or Dakota Johnson.

Brand’s clients can follow Mango’s fashion shows via the Internet.

Shopping Nights and Shopping Events
Mango closes its stores in order to offer to its guests a relaxing night with discount shopping, good live music, beauty and fashion advices, special cocktails, snacks, fashion magazines…

Sponsorship and collaboration.
Another way of approaching its target is sponsorship and collaboration.

Mango is one of the sponsors of ARCOMadrid. This way, Mango is associates itself with art, vanguard and international undertakings. In order to make the best of the sponsorship, Mango creates the Mango Performing, where shows with the participation of international artists take place.

As a sign of solidarity, Mango collaborates with Fero Fundation during the World Day Against Breast Cancer. Mango and Cruz sisters have created a limited edition of t-shirt. The entire profit will donated to the foundation.

Mango Fashion Awards
“The button” are the International awards organized by Mango. They help promoting young fashion designers internationally.

What more, Mango has a blog where it publishes news related to the brand.

Summing up, Mango knows female world perfectly and approaches its female target in the best way possible: being present in the entire world of beauty, but without forcing the image of a plastic woman.

Mango proposes something for the body and something for the spirit and sense of solidarity.

Mango’s strategy is global and it has the same structure everywhere it goes, but always taking cultural factors into the consideration. London, Paris, New York, Norway, Dubai, Madrid, Athens, Munich, Warsaw, Singapore, Toronto, Riga, Prague…are some example of cities where Mango celebrates its events.

Without doubts, if Mango keeps its strategy, its clothes are going to stay in vogue.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Area of Creativity is controlled by men

Grupo Consultores has just published the Yearbook of Best Spanish Advertising Agencies and Kika Samblás, the general director of the group, has been interview by Mujeres y Cia.
Kika says that the number of creative women in agencies is increasing:

"In advertising there are many women, but they mostly work in account departments or are dealing with clients. Every time more women are directors, but in creative departments men are still a majority in Spain, as well as all over the world. There are women that are very good as creatives, but they are very few of them. In the world of advertising women will find many opportunities, and they are equally valued for their skills, but the real challenge is to stand out in the area of creativity"

As a consumer, women are an interesting target for advertisers, because of their relatively recent incorporation into the labour world. According to Samblás, advertisers pay more attention to age categories than to genders.

Kika Samblás states that there are still some brands that use stereotyped language, because there are still many housewives that do not work professionally. However, this trend is changing, and the brands that do not use stereotypes are the ones that are possibly going to succeed.

Summarizing, Kika points out three most important landmarks:
  • Turning to the global advertising solutions used in the past and integration with the specialized solutions used nowadays
  • Younger teams working in the agencies
  • Adaptation to the digital world
Source: Mujeres y Cia.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Orange campaigns: created by women

Everybody for free

For its latest campaigns Orange has chosen Comunica +A agency, which creative team is made up in majority by women.

Full credits
Agency: Comunica+A
Advertiser: Orange
Product: Oferta comercial
Brand: Orange
Sector: Telecomunicaciones
Consumer contacts: Marcos Martínez de la Escalera y Miguel López Hidalgo
Creative director: Paula Dicenta
Copy: Eva Pastor
General Account Director: Marta González
Account Director: Marta Plaza
Producer company: Ferragut
Piece: Spot TV 30

What’s curious, the only men in this work group is responsible for contacts with the client— a job that is usually done by women. Orange and Comunica +A switched a common division of roles.

This spot was launched in summer of 2008 and was filmed in Bolonia´s beaches (Cadiz) during three days. 400 extras, 20 models and a helicopter were needed. Spot’s music is a rock version of a popular song “Un elefante se balanceaba”.


Full credits
Agency: Comunica + A
Advertiser: Orange
Product: Fusión de Orange
Client contacts: Marcos Martínez de la Escalera y Vanessa Barreiro
Creative Director: Paula Dicenta
Art: Antonio Díaz
Copy: Sonia Gómez
Copy: Fernando de Miguel
General Account Director: Cedric Bertin
Account Director: Enrique Rot
Producer company: Coolshot Films
Producer: Plácido Castaño
Postproduction: Infinia
Piece: Spot “Fusión” (40” y 30”)

This spot was filmed in Quisco and Laguna Verde beaches and in Intercomunal Park (Chile).

Here creative director and copy are both women, although in full credits appear some new names. This proves that women are not only able to create brilliant advertising campaigns, but they are considered good creatives as well.

I wonder now: do you notice any female influence watching these spots?

It’s difficult to prove if a man could have created a similar concept. However, it’s visible that this spots reinforces the idea of friendship and community and these ideas are usually valued higher by women than by men.

Fuente: MiraLoQueVeo,

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Letter to a female creative

Dear Miss Ford:
Your letter of recent date has been received in the Inking and Painting Department for reply.Women do not do any of the creative work in connection with preparing the cartoons for the screen, as that work is performed entirely by young men.

For this reason girls are not considered for the training school.
The only work open to women consists of tracing the characters on clear celluloid sheets with India ink and filling in the tracing on the reverse side with point according to drections.

In order to apply for a position as “Inker” or “Painter” it is necessary that one appear at the Studio, bringing samples of pen and ink and water color work. It would not be advisable to come to Hollywood with the above specifically in view, as there are really very few openings in comparison with the number of girls who apply.
Yours very truly,


This letter, sent by Disney in response to a job inquiry made by one woman who applied for a creative position, is dated 1938.

Fortunately, 21 years later, a letter like this one wouldn’t have a chance to be written. In 1959 in USA came to life a new law, stating that no candidate can be rejected because of his sex.

This letter approaches us the reality of those years, and makes us feel fortunate, considering legal advances and social awareness that we have developed since that time.

Source: Creative Skirts.

Has household products´ advertising changed?

Detergents, electrical appliances… over decades household products have filled advert space at TV, radio and newspapers.

According to Andalusia Audiovisual Council’s report, cleaning products´ advertisements represent 4,53% of the total of broadcasted adverts. The same report shows, that 79% of adverts reproduce both female and male stereotypes.

Argentinian Bussiness University´s Design and Comunication Institute´s report says that housewives are represented in cleaning products, hygiene, and beauty advertisements.

Does it mean that modern household products´ ads keep the same line as the past ones?

Not so long ago women were the only ones in charge of house works. Husband was bringing money home and woman was waiting for him at home with washed and ironed clothes and the dinner ready.

Adverts of detergents and electrical appliances were reflecting this status quo. Women were the target and advertisers talked to them directly. They had to use that specific detergent and washing machine if they wanted their men to be happy, and in order to be considered a good mother.

Nowadays in many houses the above family model is followed, although a modern woman is not longer a full-time house wife. The trend is that she dedicates herself to a professional work and mostly combines it with domestic tasks. The husband is often involved in some house works.

However, levels of this involvement are not equal and women continue spending more time doing these chores.

A recent report of Whirpool american fundation, based on more than 7000 women interviewed in France, German, Italy, UK and Spain says that half of incomings at 86% of surveyed women state that looking after family is their responsibility.
This may be the reason why household products´ ads keep on having women as their primary target. Although, there is an increasing number of brands that try to integrate men in their communication.

It is clear that housewife role model is changing, but has household products´ advertising change as well?

If we consider the target, we could say no: women are still the target. The only difference is that woman is no longer a simple housewife, but a businesswoman. Let’s see some examples:


Despite the time passing by, the detergent keeps on “empowering” women.
In the first ad the woman is a mother that cares about her family. In the second one, the woman seems independent and powerful.


These washing machines adverts show two different types of women. The first print gives a great importance to the marriage ceremony and compares it with the moment of purchase. The second one presents a woman who knows caring about her best clothes.
We can notice some differences at Tv spots too:





There is no doubt that women are the target... always?

This campaign is an exception among hundreds of adverts which seem to be a copy of the ones broadcasted many years ago. I am referring to these ads in which mother struggles to clean her children’s clothes. Almost nothing has changed in these types of spots.

I wonder if advertising simply reproduces stereotypes and sexist patterns or is it a reflection of the reality…?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Barack Obama about women

"We assume that women are the backbone of our families, but we often ignore the fact that women are the backbone of our middle class."

In these words the new president of the USA has referred to women
during "Women for Obama" event, in July of 2008 in New York.

Historically in the USA there are more women voters than the men ones. Obama is aware of this fact and he decided to run for feminine votes. How? Surrounding himself with women: his wife Michelle, Hillary Clinton, Eva Longoria, Oprah Winfrey and his sister.

The strategy was aimed to indentify Barack with women's values. During different events "Women for Obama", women were directing their speeches and actions to women.

Obama's sister declared in Mexico that Obama is a "dedicated feminist." His family background has also been very useful for the strategy. His sister talked about how he brought her up and about how is he presently bringing up their two daughters.

Meanwhile, Michelle travelled around the country looking for women in strategic places: hairdressing salons, nurseries, art galleries, etc.

Oprah Winfrey expressed publically her support and the actress Eva Longoria encouraged women to vote for Obama by highlighting his acts of defense of women's rights, “including reproductive freedom”.

The union with Hillary Clinton was not accidental, as he was concious that many white women supported her on her way to the White House. During the event "Women for Obama" in New York, the two politicians aimed their speeches to women representing working class.

Obama´s call centres were very well organized and the women where the ones to call women.

The candidate also reserved a separate space for women in the Internet: at Women for Obama they can find everything about the candidate.

And the strategy has succeed: 56% of voting women has chosen Barack Obama.

The president elect has sorround himself with women: Hillary Clinton, Janet Napolitano, Susan Rice and Lisa Jackson will form a part of his government.

It´s an another step towards change.

Source: Antonio Gutierrez´s Blog, El Economista, Las noticias de México, BBC.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Women do not want perfect models in adverts

A research carried out by Ben Barry, researcher at Cambridge University, shows that women do not feel identified with very slim, young and white models.

The research includes a sample of 2000 women from the UK, US, China, India, Canada, Brazil, Kenya and Jordan, shows a change in women’s attitude towards beauty.

Ben Barry proved that women consumers respond more favourably to brands whose models are of their age, size and background. People do want to see someone who represents them in all these three factors.

Apart from women under 25 years old and Chinese female consumers, most of surveyed persons feel positive towards models that bear a resemblance.

"The women want models who look like they were part of the fashion industry but who at the same time look like themselves. It makes them feel that they are being included in the industry and that they are considered beautiful”, says Barry.

Latest campaigns of some brands, as Dove or Nivea, used these concepts.

However, luxury brands use the image of a perfect woman in their advertisements.
Despite Barry’s conclusions, there are some experts who prefer to be cautious with the results.

Paddy Barwise, professor of marketing at London Business School, thinks that there is a big gap between what women say and what they do at point of sale.

Will Ben Barry’s conclusions be taken into consideration in the next campaigns?

Source: MarketingDirecto, The Guardian, WARC

Edesa gets along with housewives of 25-65 years old

A report prepared by Milward Brown consulting reveals that Edesa´s last campaign, “Edesa Kitchen Dance”, increased brand visibility and reached the memory index of 64%.

And you, who are you? The campaign’s slogan reflects brands intentions: represent itself through music and dance, which is a way of personal expression. Four styles make up the campaign: pop, romantic, sport and metallic.




Each video targets specific kind of person and the brand wants to update the collections from time to time.

What decides that the campaign gets along with its target: women?

As we can see in the credits of the campaign (at the bottom of the text) the influence of feminine thinking in the creative process was very little, so it seems that Wonderland’s contributors put themselves mentally in housewives´ position.

House works are usually tedious and boring, and modern housewives rarely spend their entire time on cleaning and cooking. Maybe relating electrical appliances to an atmosphere of fun and relax is what made this spot connect with the new type of housewives?

Nowadays house is no longer just and only a space to live, but it’s a place where to have a good time. Edesa knew perfectly how to make the best profit of this aspect and how to present it in the campaign.

Edesa makes a step forward, and this way obliges other brands to approach women in a similar way- taking into consideration new ways of doing things.

An interesting report by Sarah Moore and Betsy Westhoff explains that the marketing which helps consumers understand how to enjoy brands at home is the one that will focus the attention.

However Edesa should rethink if its target public keep on being only women or could it be singles as well.
Full Credits

Advertiser: Fagor electrodomésticos
Product: relanzamiento Edesa
Agency: Wonderland
Creative Director: Santiago López
Art Director: Esteve Bou Nolla
Agency Producer: Gustavo González
Production company: Lee Films
Producer: Yago Carvajal
Piece: spots TV 20" y 10"
Title: "Romantic", "Metallic, "Sport", "Pop"

Source: MarketingNews,

Friday, January 16, 2009

Axe and its… sexist advertising?

Is this spot sexist or does it really denigrate women?


Full Credits
Agency: Vegaolmosponce
Advertiser: Unilever
Product: desodorante
Brand: Axe
Sector: Perfumería, cosmética e higiene
Piece: Spot Tv 20"
Title: "Perchero"

Yes? No? In 2003 this campaign titled “Show them the way” was reported 153 times becoming the most reported campaign of the year.

Since several years brand Axe, which belongs to Unilever, stands out for its controversial adverts.

The General Association of Consumers (ASGECO) made a formal complaint against this campaign as denigrating woman. In this case the association also reported the ridiculous and stereotyped role of men.

It’s not the first time when campaigns of Axe are being reported. Throughout past years almost every Axe ad campaign have been criticized and reported.

In 2004, according to Sexist Advertising Observatory, “Show them the way” campaign continued being reported (also that year it become the most reported campaign).

In 2007, Radio and Television Discrimination Observatory (read the report) chose the Axe Spot “Church” the most representative example of use of the negative women stereotypes in spots.


Full Credits
Brand: AXE
Product: Jabón

Agency: Properú
Company: Unilever

According to the observatory, women’s desire to get married and lack of this will among men are two stereotypes shown in the spot that reassert the inequality between women and men and the devaluation of female features.

In India, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting banned the “Chocolate” because it was “indecent and vulgar”.


Full Credits
Brand: AXE
Product: Desodorante
Agency: Lowe
Company: Unilever

Different women’s associations have reported Lynx (the variant of Axe in those countries) campaigns launched in New Zeland and England. In these cases, the reason was ¨the usage of stereotypes that denigrate women¨.

However, not everything around Axe is negative. In 2006 the brand won Gran Effie in Argentine for the creative effectiveness. It also got the gold award for the spot “Shower”.

Full Credits
Agency: Vegaolmosponce
Advertiser: Unilever
Product: Desodorante
Brand: Axe
Sector: Perfumería, cosmética e higiene
Piece: Spot TV 20"

The following year, Axe won the Big Award for integration at Cannes Festival for its “Choque” campaign.

Full Credits
Agency: Vegaolmosponce
Advertiser: Unilever
Product: Desodorante
Brand: Axe
Sector: Perfumería, cosmética e higiene
Piece: Spot TV 20"
Title: "Choques"

The Graphics designers were the followings:

This campaign caused 10% of the brand consumption increase.

In 2007, Argentinean Planning Association held the Creative Approach Awards and Axe won the Gran Prix.

Other campaigns of the brand were also highly controversial: Click, Metamorphosis, Academias Axe o Bom Chicka Wah Wah.

The last news referring to the brand says that the famous Axe Effect is real.

Real or not, it is obvious that Axe managed to distinguish itself from the competition. For some people its manners are not very orthodox, others find spots funny.

In reality, what we might criticize, are the graphic ads of “Choque” only, because there indeed women are represented as a sexual object.

Apart from that, the rest of campaigns play the normal game of seduction between women and men, and this is why the product is attractive.

Both men and women, especially the youth, like to play ¨the cat and mouse¨ and Axe shows this aspect from the point of view of its target: men. From this point of view, young men wish to have a good time with beautiful women. Axe exaggerates this game to make it funny and eye-catching.

In fact, we don’t really think the Axe campaigns depreciate women image. We believe that in many cases the men are the ones who are being denigrated.

Despite this, in our opinion, we should watch these campaigns as a parody of a seduction game and not as a sexist usage of the men and women image.

Source: MarketingNews, AdAge, ABC, Infobaeprofesional,

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Best and Worse spots showing actual women role Awards

Last December, Peru hosted FemTv and SapoTv Awards. These awards prize the best and the worse spots aimed at women by FemTV- a group of associations in favour of women rights.

The Winner of FemTV 2008 was Visa:

Brand: Vea Visa Card
Product: Credit Car
Agency: Publicis
Company: Peruvian Supermarkets, Banco Internacional del Perú, S.A.A

The Winner of SapoTV 2008 was Saga Falabella:

Credits Brand: Saga Falabella
Product: Store

Agency: Circus
Company: Saga Falabella

Axe, Unique, Natura, Nivea or Brahma were some of the brands nominated for the awards.

Fem TV
All the spots nominated for Fem TV awards show an economically independent women who is a family lover but at the same time likes looking after herself.

Thus, what is the difference between the nominated spots and the winner?
Vea Visa Card represents a woman capable of combining work and family without giving up looking after herself. The role represented in the spot is the ideal of an actual woman although in real life it is not always easy to work and have fun with a family at same time.

Sapo TV
Although among Sapo Tv there were some Axe spots, FemTV Group chose Saga Falabella supermarket as a winner.

According to the spot directors, it captures woman as a hysterical consumer and a person that succumbs to sexuality. This makes spot embarrass not only women but men as well.

This year the awards prized by the jury have been the same as spots chosen by the audience. This fact makes us think that the winner spot has been fairly chosen… or not?

Click her to watch all the nominated spots.

Which spots should have won, in your opinion?

Source: La Primera newspaper