#18 Keeping up with the Cardashians

May 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

There is no question that product ads often cater to genders. Take Kia Soul, whose recent series of commercials featured cute hamsters, a campaign aimed more towards women than men I would argue. Even my mom now is thinking of getting “that hamster car” in place of her VW. (But only if the car dealer offers to throw in some hamster accessories as part of the deal, she says.)

Compare Kia Soul’s commercial to a Ford Mustang commercial:

The Mustang commercial is a little more action-oriented, and doesn’t feature any cute animals. Ford plays toward a male audience by showing the power and speed of their car. Kia shows hip-hop hamsters driving the Soul.

This isn’t to say that all guys would prefer the Ford commercial over the other, or that guys hate cute furry hamsters. It’s just that these two commercials gear their message towards different genders. Why is this? Why not make commercials that appeal to a wide audience and try to get as many consumers as possible?

I would argue that these commercials only focus on certain genders because that’s who their targeted buyer is. Ford probably doesn’t sell a lot of Mustangs to female drivers. Likewise, there probably aren’t a lot of men who want to buy a Soul. These are generalizations, I know, and these car companies probably know it, too. They focus ads towards their audiences because that’s who their products appeal to and who they’re going to be selling cars to.


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