Males and Advertising – Across the Generations


Marketers know that different market segments react differently to promotions; not all advertisements appeal to all segments. But how big are the differences between genders, and between generations? Ad Age Insights and Gfk MRI examined the ways in which today’s generation of males are different from their fathers and grandfathers.

Highlights from the new report, “Dudes to Dads: U.S. Men’s Attitudes Toward Life, Family, Work” provide new insights into the male reaction to advertising. More than half (54%) of males find TV advertisements useful with information about products and services; 46% obtain useful information about bargains; 40% learn about product use of other consumers; and nearly half (47%) say that TV ads are funny!

But lest marketers think they can rest on their laurels at this good news, there is an opposite side to TV advertisements. From the study, 63% of males think that TV ads are repeated way too often! Half of the respondents state that ads are at inconvenient times, and 46% state the same is true of Internet ads. Even more negative are that one-third of the men say that neither TV nor Internet ads have credibility with them.

When crossing the generational divide, older generations still like print ads, but Millennials only find magazine ads “amusing” or “pure entertainment.” To reach young males, video is the way to go along with ads in shopping malls, medical offices, bars, and pubs. One advertising venue that all men, especially Millennials, find annoying is the use of cell phone ads (65%).

For shopping, while males look to save money, they do not like to bother with coupons. One finding from the study was that males are likely to believe that if they are offered coupons, then the product was probably overpriced in the first place.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Divide students into groups of males and females in order to compare gender responses.
  2. Have each group list places where they see advertisments.
  3. Which placements are annoying? Why?
  4. Which placements are alright? Why?
  5. What messages are welcome to males? To females?
  6. Have each group list their attitudes towards shopping and advertisements.
  7. Finally, have each group use their information to develop an advertising plan for a product of their choice.

Source:  Ad Age Daily, 7/11/12

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