Five #Femvertising Findings:

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1. Contrary to popular belief, consumers actually pay attention to advertising

  • 87% of women and 73% of men report that they do not ignore ads (Q23j)
  • In 2014, there was zero recognition on the term “femvertising,” today 1 in 5 women and men are aware of the term (20% women, 18% men). (Q4)
  • 64% of respondents believe ads have become more generally inclusive of gender, race, and sexuality in the past year. (Q7)
  • In 2014, 77% of respondents noticed that advertisers were spending more time thinking about how they portray women.  Two years later, that number rose to 82%. (Q6)
  • 88% of women and 74% of men report remembering ads that feature positive female messages.  The main driver for recall with women is because they see themselves & people they know reflected in the message.  The main driver for men is that these ads match their values. (Q9 & Q10)
  • 59% of women have followed a brand in social media because they like what they stand for (Q23c)
  • 56% of respondents remember seeing at least one of the ads nominated for a 2016 #Femvertising Award (Q20)
  • 47% of women have shared an ad with a pro-female message, up from 45% in 2014 (Q23d)

2. Both women & men feel unrepresented, underrepresented, and misrepresented in most of the ads they see

  • 62% of women and 67% of men believe they do not see people like themselves in ads (Q23k)
  • When asked how women are portrayed in ads, one third of men (33%) feel it is in a positive light, compared to just 17% of women.  (Q2)
  • The perspective flips when asked about how men are portrayed in ads, half of women (53%) feel it is positive, compared to just 33% of men. (Q3)-
  • 60% of women and 49% of men believe it is important that the people who create ads are diverse (Q23l)-
  • The top 3 brands that respondents say portray women in a negative light are: Beer commercials, Victoria’s Secret and Carl’s Jr/Hardee’s (Q14)
  • When thinking of the negative portrayal of women, the most frequently mentioned ads were: Reebok “Cheat on Your Girlfriend, Not Your Workout” (2012), Geico “Tarzan” (2016), Dr. Pepper “Ten” (2011) and DirecTV “Marionette Wives” (2014) (Q14)-
  • The top 3 brands that respondents say portray men in a negative light are: Beer commercials, Axe body spray, laundry/cleaning commercials (Q15)
  • When thinking of the negative portrayal of men, the most frequently mentioned ads were: Summer’s Eve “Manly Mistake” (2014), Hanes socks “Paste” (2010) and United Healthcare “Pool Vault” (2016) (Q15)

3. The message — and the image — matters

  • An overwhelming majority — 97% of women and 90% of men — think the advertising we see has an impact on how society views women (Q17)
  • 90% of women and 65% of men believe portraying women as sex symbols in ads is harmful (Q23e)
  • 85% of women and 78% of men believe gender equality is not only a woman’s issue but a human rights issue (Q23g)
  • 83% of women and men believe that any brand can find a way to authentically deliver a pro-female message.  This is a significant increase from 2014 when 74% of women believed any brand could create pro-female ads. (Q13)
  • In 2014, 75% of women said they wanted to see real women in ads.  Today, that number jumped to 82% of women, but men are not nearly as interested in seeing real images.  Just 65% of men report they like it. (Q8)
  • 2 out of 3 respondents offered advice to brands on how to market to them (see answers in Q24)

4. Women are more likely to purchase products from brands that support women

  • 92% of women indicate they might support a brand because they promote and hire female executives (VP level and above). 78% of men agree. (Q21)
  • 88% of women indicate they might support a brand because they have a female CEO.  74% of men agree. (Q22)
  • The majority of women (56%) say they would be more likely to support a brand that shows non-stereotypical men in their ads.  Interestingly, most men (49%) say it makes no difference to them. (Q19)
  • The majority of women (53%) say they have purchased a product because they like how a brand and their advertising portrays them, up slightly from 2014 (52%) (Q23a)
  • Almost half (46%) of women have stopped buying a product because they didn’t like they way they were portrayed in that brand’s ad (Q23b)
  • Far and away, Dove is the most recognized brand for sending positive messages to women and girls, with 65% of all respondents believing they make an impact. Rounding out the rest of top 10 brands doing it right are:  Always (39%), CoverGirl (36%), Nike (32%), Olay (29%), Secret (28%), Playtex (27%), Hanes (26%), Yoplait (25%), and Pantene (25%). (Q12)

5. You can’t be what you can’t see — the next generation continues to be the reason why #Femvertising is so important

  • Just like in 2014, the #1 reason women like pro-female ads is because they are important for younger generations to see.  This was also the #1 reason for the men we surveyed. (Q11)
  • 92% of women and 80% of men believe how women are portrayed in ads has a direct impact on girls’ self-esteem.  This is up slightly from 2014, when 91% of women also held this belief. (Q23f)
  • 63% of women and men believe we should hold brands responsible for using their advertising to promote positive messages to women and girls (Q16)

Source: SheKnows Media, Online survey, fielded in Sept. 2016, 3,822 responses total

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