Gender Stereotypes in Advertising

A discussion of how gender influences the way marketers advertise.

This paper deals with the explanations and considerations that are needed to understand why gender effectively influences responses to advertisements. It considers stereotypical advertising, actual physiological and psychological differences between the sexes and the effect of affect and cognition on gender responses. It places emphasis on ways to market effectively to the two genders without being stereotypical and looks at how marketers must have a balanced and diverse team that will work together to avoid stereotypes in marketing campaigns and that will come up with new, creative ways to get the customer’s attention and arouse interest in the product offered.
Another mistake marketers often make is patronizing women or attempting to take advantage of perceived weaknesses in women. For example, handgun companies are now targeting women as never before. However, they often exploit the fears that women have in today’s often violent society, the feeling that women often are helpless against rapists, thieves, and murderers, and need to protect themselves and their families. Today there are more single mothers than ever, and women that are the head of their households feel it is their responsibility to protect their homes and children. Gun makers recognize this as an opportunity to raise sales and market share and have responded with products and ads specifically targeting women.