Marketing Message

Difference between sex appeal and gender appeal

No matter how complex the marketing function becomes or how cluttered the media environment is, there are still only two sexes on the receiving end of a marketing message. Understanding the one that does most of the buying is crucial, and especially when there is such a big difference between gender appeal and sex appeal.

Gender appeal is the type of marketing that resonates strongly with the culture of a particular sex. People overlook gender the way they overlook oxygen, which is a mistake, since we now know that gender is one of the primary filters through which people understand and interpret life.

Sex appeal is different – it defines words, images, or people that others find arousing. And when it comes to being aroused, most of us have lived long enough to know that women and men have different ideas about what’s sexy and what’s not.

Understanding this difference between gender appeal and sex appeal is one of the most fundamental principles in marketing to women.

Luckily for men, a woman’s brain is much less interested in how one man looks than in how he thinks and acts.

Every marketer knows that the most effective campaigns create an emotional connection with audiences. But what if one audience has an entirely different emotional reality than the other? Women have different emotional perceptions, responses, and memories than men do. When these differences aren’t understood well enough, campaigns fail to connect with their target. They become instantly forgettable, which is why the world is littered with campaigns that most of us couldn’t recall at gunpoint. The good news is this: armed with the right knowledge, both men and women can learn to create marketing campaigns with gender appeal.

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