Marketing, Women and Men


On the upside marketing can be a beautiful thing. It can bring clarity and structure to getting word out on green things that the world needs. It can be a force the empathizes with and heals people’s insecurities.

On the downside, it can be the very force that fosters those insecurities.

And of course, there’s hardly an area where this is more true that with the way that marketing not only plays to women’s insecurities – but is actually in collusion with creating them.

There’s the old truism that sex sells. And, I suppose, if what you’re offering can legitimately help people have more and better sex (e.g. dating coaches, relationship and sex coaches – then there’s nothing wrong with that. But when you are using women and sex to imply that ‘buying this product will get you laid’ and using women as objects and trophies – what does this do to women’s view of themselves? It’s the basis of Dove’s ‘Real Beauty‘ campaign. And what do commercials (like those of Axe Bodyspray) do to the way that men see themselves?

So, ask yourself, is my marketing healing the world or hurting it?

Here’s a clip from: Killing Us Softly 4: Advertising’s Image of Women.

What do you all think? Please share your comments and reflections below.


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About Tad

  • Hey Tad – Amen to this! Modern marketing is giving terribly destructive messages regarding beauty, personal responsibility, personal power….I just commented on a similar perception in my newest blog,…by the way, I’ve linked to you on my blogroll there; is that OK?

  • Thanks for posting yet another great blog article, Tad! One thing I’d like to add is that using women’s insecurities to market a product has been taken to a whole new level with Dove’s campaign, and it is for this reason that I’ve never been a supporter of it, no matter how “warm and fuzzy” it appears. While I certainly don’t disagree with campaigns that seek to allow women to celebrate their bodies, cellulite, wrinkles, and all, Dove is owned by the same company that produces Axe, and we all know how women (and men) are portrayed in those ads. I wouldn’t go so far as to cry, “CONSPIRACY!!!” but there are certainly times at which it feels as though the company uses one stream to reinforce negative self-image and then another to console the resulting bruised souls, all while turning a tidy profit.

  • hey geneve – yes. and it’s worse. I wrote about it here: