Friday, September 23, 2005

We need to talk about my feelings

Was it just me or did Martha Barletta's AdAge article read like a chick flick parody? Among her 7 tips for advertising to women:

"...while a man may be mesmerized by the specs of high-tech widgets and gadgets, a woman is captivated by the person using the product."

"...a bullet-point list of key facts and product features is an ideal format for men; think about adding a complementary treatment for women, one that...highlights lifestyle and feelings."

"it’s about making her feel useful."

Obviously Barletta's the expert and I'll try to evaluate her advice when I'm less emotional. But now that we know how to market to women, is it ever too early to start? "To put products in the hands of 'tween' influencers -- trendsetting girls ages 8 to 12 -- companies such as Capitol Records, Disney, and Hasbro are hosting marketing events modeled after sleepovers. All are clients of Girls Intelligence Agency, a Los Angeles market research firm that distributes slumber-party kits -- packed with freebies and ideas for themed games and snacks -- to 40,000 girls willing to introduce friends to new products."

This of course raises many questions. Why sleepovers? How have these trendsetters been identified -- scouting? Youth beauty pageants? Credit card lists? And finally, how do these parties make everyone feel?

UPDATE: On further review, the sleepover probably ensures the party is all-girl. Still, so many questions. Are these tween hosts being compensated? Are their mothers? Or their party guests? If my hypothetical daughter was invited to what was essentially a focus group, I'd hypothetically be a little upset at the host's parents. And I'd so tear into them at my next Pampered Chef party.

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