In part one of this two-part series, we looked at three different ways advertising panders to men. First, by really playing up the manliest things in life. Second, by bowing down to the inner child within us all. And third, to bombard us with images of attractive semi-naked women.
Now we look at three more ways that advertising sells stuff to the weaker sex (trust me, we die earlier, we get more diseases, we are not stronger in many regards).
4: Men Don't Like To Have Their Masculinity Questioned
No sir. You even dare say we're not the man we think we could be, and we will rush out and buy any product that instantly corrects that problem.
Case in point, Old Spice. The ad featuring the "man you man could smell like" was not really aimed at women at all, even though the narrative is to the contrary. No, this one was to get every guy out there laughing, but also pondering what exactly this smell is.
Do I need to smell like that? Maybe I should give it a try?
Other ads will do this by challenging our ability to do certain things, and solving the problem with tools that help us do the job.
5: Men Are Suckers For Flattery
Yes we are. It's not even subtle, either. If an ad points out all of our finer points (and sometimes those finer points are quite hard to find) we will reward that ad with our attention, and possibly a sale.
There are examples of this everywhere. When it comes to financial products, we're always getting our egos stroked about how we're good providers, and want to keep our families safe in the future. We're smart, we're savvy, and we know the products they're selling are just for us.
With technology, we demand excellence from our equipment. We want the very best from our surround sound, or Blu-Ray player, or in-dash GPS navigator. We are discerning and need something that really lives up to our high expectations.
With food, even something as simple as a burger, we don't take any less than the best. We are so good at everything, it seems, and yet most products and services somehow meet our high, exacting standards. Wow, what a coincidence!
6: Men LOVE a Challenge
It's built into our DNA. We can't help it. Whether it's finding our way without ever asking for help, or leaning over someone's shoulder to do the crossword puzzle, we like to be put to task.
And one of the best ways to bring men into that mentality, in advertising, is to issue the challenge. A great example of this - the Shredded Wheat campaign in the UK. "Can you eat three Shredded Wheat?" the ad asked. And thus, men of the world responded, eating one more of those bricks that could really only be used as a pot scourer.
We have food challenges. Beer challenges. Challenges that involve our very manliness. We have challenges daring us to try a product. Maybe it's the hottest sauce in the world. Or the strongest beer. Maybe it's a double-bacon baconated bacon burger with triple thick extra bacon on the side. Hey, if you're daring us, step back - we'll take on that challenge head-on. And our hearts, they'll figure out some way to kick that saturated fat to the curb later on.