Evolution of gender specific advertising

     From simple notices posted across town to real time advertising through the new medium, advertising has come a long way. While the purpose remains the same its magnitude has increased drastically. So much so that it has come to a point where Darwin’s idea of ‘survival of the fittest’ fits to a tee here. But we’re not here to talk about the entire advertising industry, which would be a massive undertaking. We’re here to talk about gender specific advertising over the years and its evolution.


      It’s almost impossible to figure out if advertising evolved to human thoughts or if human beings evolved to effective advertising. Nevertheless, we do have some really effective advertising going on now. While it used to be all about creating a colourful fantasy land and filling it with stereotypical characters who are all happy for some unknown reason (maybe the euphoric state of owning consumer goods like washing powder and toothpaste). While the basic consumer goods mainly targeted “homemakers” in their advertising, they’ve also, unintentionally, helped in solidifying an idea that has been cemented onto human minds for centuries, that women should be confined to their households taking care of their families and nothing else. Although the idea was to portray a loving mother and a devoted wife, the idea somewhat carried within it a subliminal message that promoted the stereotype. The individuality and the idiosyncrasy of women were lost on primitive ideas. Or was it that advertisers were just following a path set by the society? One would never know.

     This trend of advertisers following a pattern which conforms to social norms are now changing with women stepping into the scenario. Them being vocal and independent has started to set a new trend of portraying them as strong independent members of the society. But let’s not just say it’s all part of women empowerment, it is of course a marketing strategy that has been proven effective for the time being by being successful at breaking the threshold of social boundaries that people were skeptical about to begin with. Or is it because advertisers finally caught up to the idea that the modern woman needs much more convincing than a fantasy land with promises of happiness?
       It’s all a matter of perspective I suppose. We’re never really going to uncover the real intentions behind this new trend in gender specific marketing. When it comes down right to it, it is a basic need for marketers to sell their products and advertisers essentially helps in this venture.

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