Sexist Mentality? Blame It on the Boy-Creatives

I read with interest Karen Lehrman’s thoughtful article on “What Women Want” [Art & Commerce, Aug. 6]. Her insights were right-on in observing the ad industry’s ad hoc mentality on how to turn the heads of female consumers.

Her reference to the chemical makeup of women as a precursor to observable behavior is refreshing, although one could argue in turn that the testosterone-soaked perspective of boy-creatives and their behavioral variances in turn filter men’s interpretation of women’s behavior, which then leads to the stereotyping (patronizing) effects we constantly see in media. Is this some form of a biological stalemate?

My tenure at Maytag Corp. as its senior director of design showed me the value in building brand essence from the insights of women and integrating them into advertising as well as products. This led to breakthroughs like the Neptune and Windstar Solutions concept vehicle we did with Ford, incorporating mini-appliances into a vehicle. Now I am with Strategix ID, a branded-design firm with a methodology that defines and translates brand essence into product design and communications. This process can illuminate the complex desires and needs of “women” as a target market, and produce meaningful content directed at them.

It’s time for these 23-year-old boy-creatives to get out from behind their desks and meet real women, instead of fantasizing about them.

Joseph Ungari
Vice president, creative direction
Strategix ID

For the record: In an article about Active Media Online and clickthrough data [Shoptalk, July 23], the amount of Active Media Online’s media buy for Hitmen.com on Gay.com was $7,500 for a monthlong run, not $120,000 for a yearlong run. Active Media Online was not guaranteed a 10 percent clickthrough rate; instead, Online Partners (which has been renamed PlanetOut Partners following the company’s merger with PlanetOut) guaranteed 40,000 clicks. As of press time, Active Media co-owner Barry Brinson had not filed a claim against PlanetOut Partners.

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