MARKETING TO MEN: THE MALE SALE

Three creatives at different life stages offer an opinion on advertisements for three staple products used by most self-respecting men: beer, chocolate and deodorant.

JAMES LOWTHER - partner, M&C Saatchi

Young blokes? Well, we know they have a lot of testosterone and cash and they're prepared to spend both. And because we like the cash bit , we try to sell to them. But who are they? Are they Jack Osborne or Michael Owen? Vinnie Jones or Aled Jones? Eminem or M&S? The answer is yes to all.

The truth is there is no prototype young bloke, which is why so many of those "yoof" ads are so sick-making. What there is, as in every other marketing cliff-face, is a series of different seams of different types of bloke. These ads have struck three of them.

Homo Chauvinens and Yorkie

Yorkie has gone for the male chauvinist pig bloke and I'm not averse to a light touch of ad chauvinism because it's not serious, it's ironic - geddit? And the loudest laughs in the cinema during my most sexist XXXX commercials invariably came from women.

So Yorkie's hit a good seam. Actually, I thought the TV ad with a woman trying to pass herself off as a bloke was cleverer and thus funnier. But they all work.

Incidentally, I also like female chauvinists like Marie de Sevigne who said: "The more I see of men, the more I admire dogs." That's funny too.

Homo Cynicans and Carling

Someone once said: "Humour and good taste are a contradiction in terms, like a chaste whore." With this ad, Carling Extra Cold is celebrating man's inherent lack of sensitivity and taste, and the corresponding desire to offend.

There's certainly a seam here and they've mined it pretty well. If anything, they might have been a bit edgier.

Homo Sensitens and Sure

The opposite end of the above, this is the guy in touch with his feminine side. My first reaction was to say: "For God's sake man, get a grip of your masculine side and pull yourself together."

Other than the somewhat unfortunate imagery this conjures up, it was also wrong. Nowadays, "new man" is allowed sensitive skin - unless he's a Millwall supporter - and these ads offer the agency the chance to do quite sweet, if not earth shattering, "collision of opposites" visual analogies.

So, three valid seams of young bloke-dom, but none as mould-breaking as the wonderful "Homo Bachelorus Super Noodlus". And they've all missed out the commonest sort of bloke of all - the one who simply can't find things in the fridge that a woman can dig out in seconds.

SIMON RILEY - deputy creative director, DFGW

The latest Carling Extra Cold posters certainly borrow from the cruel put-down prevalent in ladsy pub culture (or maybe I should change my friends).

But instead of being really biting, they're more inclement. If there were no such thing as women, would men bother with deodorant?

Probably not. They'd just go about farting all the time and stinking the place up. I'm not so sure "gentle" is a determining factor for men when it comes to purchasing their anti-perspirant. It's a bit like why condoms in a small size don't sell.

The latest Yorkie strategy is sexist. Extremely and overtly so. That's why it works. This is a chocolate bar for men. And why not? Women have boxes and boxes of the stuff, even whole shops dedicated to cocoa bean by-products. All we have is our Yorkie. It's the last bastion of confectional masculinity and we should protect it. Besides, the ladies might break a nail trying to snap off one of them big ol' chocolatey chunks.

So keep a tight grip on your Yorkie. With proposals like EU commissioner Anna Diamantopoulou's to ban ads that degrade women, such advertising may become as dated as a Benny Hill sketch. She has already implemented her "vibrations directive" - a piece of legislation limiting the time farmers can spend on tractors. She means business.

JONO BENSON - copywriter, Saatchi & Saatchi

Talk about burning bridges early on in a career; I think I may set a new record.

I buy the Sure Sensitive brand, but after looking at these ads I felt a bit cheated. The thing is, it's an excellent product but these ads feel a little, er, boring (first bridge on fire) and the strategy seems too easy (40-foot flames). I can imagine that if I saw these ads in a magazine they wouldn't register. Especially if I were looking for the eight-page Pammy spread (first bridge now burned down).

In the new Carling Extra Cold campaign we are shown a series of cold-hearted posters. In one poster we see that a cake-maker has produced a life-like model of a very fat bride. The only thing (strike that match) is that for me, as a punter, they're not cold enough - more Carling lukewarm (second bridge officially on fire). There's a Guinness campaign with the same strategy. I think there's a line about telling your best mate you've shagged his sister. That's extra, extra cold. I'll stick to Stella, because it gets me pissed the quickest (second bridge down).

Now to Yorkie (put away that flame-thrower). I love this strategy. It's a good truth about the product and it's funny. In a world where blokes are nearly always portrayed as inferior to women in ads, it's good to see the tables have turned. I just hope that this campaign got the number of complaints from women that it so rightly deserved. Great stuff.

So, two bridges down and one good as new. Not too bad, then.

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Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).