I’m the mother of a seven and four year old. With this territory comes the rare few moments of solace. I have to admit those few treasured moments are usually found in the privacy of my bathroom. I also need to come clean that many of those occasions arise, not due to the call of nature, but due to my desperate pursuit to recapture my sanity or to re-find myself. As part of these brief diversions, I have found some small luxury in magazines; the paper kind. There’s no digital side to these small 10 minute vacations I take. It’s purely old school for me! With the 10 minutes of bliss, I find myself reading the magazine ads just as much as the articles. I wonder if this is unique to my own life or is this a common experience for mothers everywhere.
Accordingly to the website she*conomy, 85% of the all consumer purchases are made by women. I think it’s fair to assume that a large portion of that 85%, are made by mothers. If that is the case, than magazines are likely still a valid marketing vehicle. Especially given the captive setting I often find myself reading them in.
When I‘m looking at ads, there are certain types that appeal to me, more than others. The beauty ads that attempt to make me feel unworthy, without the right pimple cream or age defying formulas, are quick page turners. Why would I work so hard to escape reality, only to read an ad that reminds me of some remote reality? The ads that tell me a sweet story, make me laugh or inspire me, are the ones that I actually decide to read and note the brands they’re advertising for.
For example, there was a recent Liquid Plumbr ad I found, on one of my recent excursions. The tag line read “embrace your inner plumber” and featured a woman wearing a pink shirt and a tool belt. The copy of the ad was calling to the feminist in all of us and our need to take charge of our own situations. The ad promoted the Liquid Plumr facebook page that offers D.I.Y. solutions; “No boyfriends, husbands or plumbers required”. It also highlights that their facebook page features Home Improvement star, Norma Vally, who presents the Liquid Plumr “Tool School”.
Another ad that caught my attention was a World Wild Life ad, that read “Be the voice for those that have no voice” and featured a picture with a mother and baby elephant. I will admit that this ad drove me to leave my “time out” and to return to my brood.
The marketing messages that seem to capture my interest are not the shallow attempts to make me feel inferior, but the ads that have some substance. They’re the ads that don’t undermine my intelligence, but instead respect it. Afterall, if me, and many other women like me, are the driving consumer force in America, then clearly we deserve to be respected in the very ads that we’re being targeted by.