Women Favor Messages of Peace in Ads. (Opinion)

Marketing to Women: Addressing Women and Women's Sensibilities, December 2001 | Go to article overview
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Women Favor Messages of Peace in Ads. (Opinion)


The Sept. 11 attacks have affected how American women feel at home and at work, about their lifestyles, and about how marketing should address them during this unsettled time. Women are significantly less likely than men to believe that advertising should proceed as usual, and more likely to favor peaceful messages in advertising, according to a Euro RSCG study conducted in October 2001.

Almost half (48%) of women and 42% of men say they are more likely to buy American-made products than they were before Sept. 11. Most women (74%) and men (76%) don't expect to change their spending habits over the next six months as a result of the attacks. Of those who do believe their spending will change, 3% of women expect to spend more than usual, 15% expect to spend less than usual, 12% expect to postpone major purchases, and 2% expect to do more of their shopping by mail or online.

While the majority of both women and men support "whatever decisions" the Bush administration makes regarding retaliation for the terrorist attacks, women are significantly more likely than men to prefer diplomatic and other peaceful alternatives.

Women are less likely than men to believe the U.S. economy will begin a recovery in 2002:42% of women say so, versus 48% of men. Women's outlook isn't necessarily dire, however: The largest percentage of women (50%) believe it's simply too soon to tell, while only 8% think the downturn will continue. By comparison, 14% of men expect the downturn to continue.

A third of women (34%) plan to travel less by air for business in the next year, and 30% plan to do less business travel in general in the coming year. Only a quarter of men (25%) think they will travel less by air for business, and 19% expect to do less business travel in general. Almost four in 10 women (39%) expect to make fewer pleasure trips by air in the coming year, and three in 10(30%) plan to travel less for pleasure in general in the next year. Men are less hesitant to travel for pleasure, either by air (28% plan to do less) or in general (19%). Women are more likely than men to say they will make fewer trips to major cities in the next year: 30% of women and 19% of men say so.

A chief difference for women this year will be the amount of time they plan to spend with family and friends: Nearly three quarters (73%) of women and 62% of men plan to spend more time with loved ones. Over a quarter of women (26%) expect to place less focus on work as a result of the attacks; fewer than two in 10 men (18%) expect to focus less on work. Significant proportions of both women (46%) and men (44%) believe they will save more money in the coming year.

Seven in 10 women (70%) plan to spend more time with their families during the 2001 holiday season, while 46% expect to spend less money than usual this season. Four in 10 women (41%) plan to focus more on the religious aspects of the holidays this year than they have in previous years.

Two thirds of women (66%) believe the terrorist attacks will have lasting effects on how they personally live their lives; less than half of men (48%) agree.

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