Gadgets

There are 2 ways to market to women: the right way and the butts way

Above: Valor marketing

Image Credit: J. O'Dell / VentureBeat

CES 2014

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CES and sexist ads go together like kids and drugs: You hate to see it, but you know they’re gonna do it anyway.

While strolling the show floor, I noticed a thing. I mean, as much as one can casually notice a 30-foot-high banner with three naked chicks on it. The clear platform stripper shoe was longer than my arm, man.

Let me tell you a secret: I. Love. Naked. Chicks. I love stripper shoes and strippers. And butts.

What I don’t love is unsolicited butts getting mixed up in gadget marketing. Call me an old-fashioned prude, but I like my sexy ladies to be sexy ladies and my iPhone covers to be iPhone covers.

Especially when we’re talking about lovely, sparkly iPhone covers for women and girls.

So I did a little chatting with the folks at the gargantuan stripper billboard-type booth. This is what they were selling:

iPhone cases from Valor

Above: iPhone cases from Valor

Image Credit: J. O'Dell / VentureBeat

Super cute, very Beyonce. I would so buy that as a guilty-pleasure thing. But not while cowering under six giant, shiny boobies.

I asked the marketing dude at the booth why he would use naked, objectified, highly sexualized women to market to an audience of (presumably mostly straight) women.

His response: “What, you don’t like it?”

Like, non-sarcastically. He could not get his head around why a woman wouldn’t want to see a Playmate of the Year in an ad for phone bling.

A mini-flip-out ensued, then I continued my rounds of the show floor. Along the way, I noticed another thing: these super, stupid cute kits for turning your phone into a Harajuku nightmare within a fantasy within a K-pop girl group music video.

And there was not a butt to be seen.

Satzuma phone bling kits

Above: Satzuma phone bling kits

Image Credit: J. O'Dell / VentureBeat

The British marketing guy said the company wanted the product, packaging, and ads to have a mass-market appeal. The kits are impulse-purchase priced and are even marketed with straight, male gift-givers in mind.

So what’s with the no-butts, man?

“Pink and skulls are cool,” he said. “Why not just tap into that? Just keep it as simple as possible.”

And that’s (sort of) how you market to women. Make stuff that’s cool and keep it simple. And unless you’re selling miracle butt cream, leave the butts out of the picture.


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