If you have spent an hour or two watching daytime television, or any television for that matter, you have probably picked up on the fact that women are a target market. Any number of items from feminine hygiene products to soaps and kids products are pushed and marketed so women take notice, and presumably run out and purchase with abandon. Using all kinds of shaming devices and preying on the fear of the contemporary woman, products are made to seem and feel, not only desirable, but also indispensible. But marketing to men, while hardly impossible, is a bit different.
Some might say that if you throw a tall cold beer and a plate of baby-back ribs on the screen, you will have a customer in waiting. However, what if you are trying to sell yogurt to men? Well, there is a new yogurt out there marketed toward men appropriately called Powerful Yogurt. Think of it as a Luna Bar in yogurt form for a man (nevermind, that is a terrible pitch). This yogurt with extra power is billed as a “man-sized powerful product intended for the nutritional demands of an active lifestyle” and seems a lot like other flavored Greek yogurts. According to the promotional literature, it was designed by leading sports nutritionists, expert trainers and food scientists, and is high-protein, all-natural, great tasting, and (most importantly) delivered in a man-sized package. Comedian Jessie Klein, who appeared recently on the NPR show Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me, had this to say about the product’s marketing:
“If male yogurt marketing is anywhere near as annoying as female yogurt marketing, you are in for a treat. Every female yogurt commercial is basically like women in a wedding dress just petting a kitten and eating yogurt.”
The package sports a bull logo and sports the tag line, “find your inner abs.” The flavors are fairly straightforward (blueberry, mango, banana, plain, etc) and not really what you would expect from a “man’s” yogurt (maybe flavors like venison and diesel would be more appealing). All in all, besides its marketing claims and a packaging that makes it appear more like an energy drink than a dairy product, Powerful Yogurt seems comparable to many of the other (less manly) products on the market.
What are your thoughts on such a product and how it is marketed? Shameless or playful? Do you think products like yogurt really need to be gender specific?