(Thinkstock Photos) The happy homemaker has hung up her apron. After years marveling over moisture-rich hand-soap and test-washing her kids' dirt-stained soccer jerseys, the stay at home mom has all but disappeared from commercials.
The new breed of female consumers are financially independent, tech-reliant and more interested in shopping for clothes, cosmetics and cars than cleaning supplies. They also span the decades from their mid-20s to their mid-60s. As a result, advertisers are rethinking the average women as anything but average.
A feature in the latest issue of AdWeek, gathers marketing trends, statistics and feedback from advertising specialists to break our three new "types" of women targeted in commercials. They've been around for a few years now, but their numbers are growing in direct relation to women's financial success.
Instead of a mom doing laundry, the latest Tide commercial features a 20-something woman discussing the merits of yoga pants over brunch with a friend. The standard Dyson vacuum commercial plays up high-tech gadgetry rather than housework. And the latest Chevy commercial features a pregnant woman apartment hunting with her slightly less demanding husband.
Advertisers may have created new cookie cutter concepts of women, but it's largely in reaction to statistics. Women are marrying later or not at all, earning higher salaries, having fewer kids and living longer. They're also being taken seriously as consumers.
It was only in the last century that a coffee ad featured a woman being spanked for buying her husband the wrong brand. Now most commercials geared to married women, from Progresso Soup to nuts, convey a very different dynamic. The husband is the comic relief with bad style and a slightly dopey demeanor who isn't in always on the joke.
As women's status at home and at work evolve, so does the way they're projected in ads. Consider these three new "breeds" of female consumers, according to Adweek. Advertisers are hoping you'll recognize yourself in one of them. Regardless, you will recognize all three from the latest commercials. We did.
The Indie Woman
Marital status: single
Average Income: $33,200
Career-driven with a healthy dose of cynicism, especially when it comes to romance, she relies on her friends as influencers more than the man in her life. To that end, she's not afraid to talk about topics her mother shied away from (birth control, tampons). She's also not afraid to splurge on big purchases, especially online.
Biggest splurge: Designer clothes and accessories (bought for a bargain)
We recognize her as: One of the Yaz besties who 'dish' on birth control over cocktails. The snarky Kotex tampon comedienne that makes fun of other tampon commercials. TJ Max's Max-inista.
The The Mom Achiever
Marital status: Married or in a relationship with a child
Average Income: $75,000
AdWeek sums up this type of target audience in a word: driven. She's a high-powered career woman who contributes heavily to the household income, and may even be the main-breadwinner in the family after the recent "man-cession." Unlike the homemakers in detergent commercials of yesteryear, she isn't the family washing machine. She also places a premium on alone time, away from work and family, which is why you're not likely to see her forking over Stovetop to a table full of neighborhood kids.
Biggest Splurge: Gadgets, beauty products
We recognize her as: The successful female celebrity (SJP, Kelly Ripa, etc) in anti-aging skincare ads. The woman in the Tide commercial who hands her baby over to her husband to change the diapers. The lady who needs some Laughing Cow me-time every now and then.
The original The Alpha Goddess
Marital status: Divorced, widowed or single
Average Income: $69,000
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, is the single woman over 55. She's a smart investor that's as tech-savvy as someone half her age, and she's becoming one of the most powerful consumers in the country. Prepared to reap the benefits of her independence by spending more on her own self-improvement, the quest for dream-fulfillment make this female prototype a target for vacation packages, luxury cars, home improvement and, notably, anti-depressants. An emphasis on sensuality is also key to this demographic. According to AdWeek, this group spends the most on perfumes and is a blossoming portion of online daters.
Biggest splurge: Travel, luxury cars, prescription drugs
We recognize her as: The woman in the Pristiq ads who has to wind herself up to sell antiques. Martha Stewart.
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