Chances are, more than a few of you out there will be looking for a
woman this Christmas. Many men, it seems, are such sad failures in the
wooing stakes, that more than half have been dubbed ‘plain boring’. So
here’s some advice (with a bit of help from Grey Advertising).
First up, fun - women like to have a good time, and a sense of humour is
top of the wish list. We like to be entertained, but we also want to be
informed, so intelligence also goes down well. Looks, you’ll all be glad
to hear, are way down the list of turn- ons. Only a fifth of women say
that beauty is important.
Now before you all go running off to get yourself a Bernard Manning joke
book and a bluffer’s guide to philosophy, let me just point out that I’m
talking about women as consumers, not sex objects.
The above attributes are ones that women find work for them in an
advertising context. According to Grey’s sample universe of 220 women,
61 per cent of women find ads boring and repetitive, while 32 per cent
think ads are basically sexist.
I’ve no idea whether, asked the same questions, men would reveal a
healthier level of acceptance of advertising, but Grey has certainly
illustrated a huge, missed opportunity with women.
My heart sinks every time I see another study into women’s attitudes, as
though they are different enough from the (presumably male) norm to
warrant special attention.
But while we may dismiss findings such as ‘women are more than happy to
describe themselves as caring and sensitive’, can we really continue
ignoring the fact that only 1 per cent of women think that financial
services ads are targeted at them, and 37 per cent think that ads treat
them as idiots?
We must start to get to grips with these issues, before another agency
sees fit to spend money on conducting a study, rather than changing its