What makes a woman more likely to chose one brand over another?
A new SheKnows Fem-vertising Survey found that 52 percent of women admitted to buying a product because they liked how the marketer and its ads presented women, and 43 percent said it made them feel good about supporting the brand. Also, only a quarter of the 628 women polled said they'd keep using a product if they didn't like how women were portrayed in its ads.
The results, some of which came out during Advertising Week, reveal that women overwhelmingly respond to advertising that builds up the fairer sex and more importantly, that they remember pro-female campaigns. Ninety-two percent were aware of at least one campaign that portrays women well, with Dove's Real Beauty ads leading the pack. Forty-five percent said they shared a pro-female ad with someone else, and 46 percent followed a marketer on social media because they liked its messaging.
Other survey results:
- 51 percent of women liked pro-female ads because they felt it broke gender barriers. "Portray women as intelligent," said a Baby Boomer working mom with a child over 18. "Truly think about the message of the commercial—so many commercials today have the message 'our customers are idiots.' Why would I go out of my way to buy from a company that doesn't respect me? Don't take cheap shots at anyone—men, women or children."
- 4 out of 5 women thought it was important for younger generations to see a positive portrayal of women. An overwhelming majority felt that how women are seen in campaigns has a direct effect on girls' self esteem. "I'd like to see less Photoshopping of images so that young women and girls know what real women look like and have a realistic sense of beauty," said one millennial mom.
- 71 percent said brands should be held responsible for how they use their advertising to promote positive messages about women—and 3 out of 5 women believed that any brand can be pro-women.
- 94 percent said that using women as sex symbols was harmful to the gender. "So much advertising that is targeted to women [has] the underlying message that being 'sexually' attractive is the ultimate benchmark of beauty and self-worth. … We need to expand 'sexy' to include more cerebral/emotional qualities: sense of humor, creativity, compassion, care etc," a Gen X woman said.
- 75 percent said they liked ads that featured everyday women, 19 percent said they don't notice them and 6 percent said they didn't like them at all. Said a millennial college student: "Be realistic when showing a woman in an ad, be conscientious about language and the dialogue between women and men, and women and women. Break gender barriers! Avoid social construction of gender. Don't treat women as objects or portray them in any way that makes them less human."
- Only half of the women who took the survey consider themselves feminists, but 89 percent felt that gender equality is a human rights issue.