The 'Gender Brand Gap' Has Costs Beyond Marketing Dollars

Engine's study focused on advertising bias in the beer, automotive and SPF skin care categories

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CANNES, France—Advertisers have contributed to the unfortunate creation of a “gender brand gap” when it comes to shaping and influencing consumer behaviors, reveals a new study from Engine, presented at an Adweek talk at Cannes on Wednesday.

Engine selected a representative group of categories, including alcohol, beauty and automotive and surveyed 2,000 U.S. consumers for their attitudes and participation in those categories, as well as their views on brands within the categories and if they viewed those brands as “for you.”

The study found that, despite women representing 83% of purchasing power and the ubiquity of gender issues in marketing campaigns, brands still are largely failing to create meaningful connections with female consumers.

In the case of beer, decades of advertising targeting men may have actually impacted preference for the alcoholic beverage; 55% of men participating in the study and 29% of women reported liking the taste of beer.

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