Getting Gender Right Holds Tremendous Opportunity for Indian Marketers to Unlock Growth

Marketers in India are missing potential opportunities to reach out to men in the categories where both genders are equal decision makers 
58% ads on air target women exclusively, and only 35% are targeted towards both genders

Marketers are reinforcing rather than helping to eradicate harmful gender-based stereotypes. That’s according to the latest AdReaction report released by Kantar, which reveals the disconnect between consumer and business opinions of gender portrayals in advertising. While the clear majority of marketers globally (more than 75%) think they are avoiding gender stereotypes, 76% of female consumers and 71 % of male consumers believe that the way they’re portrayed in advertising is completely out of touch.

The latest AdReaction report from Kantar includes analysis on advertising creativity and media effectiveness both globally and in India. The latest edition is based on a comprehensive analysis of how women and men are portrayed in ads, and how they respond differently to marketing. The report aims to guide marketers on their gender progress journey and help brands grow, by Getting Gender Right. 

Commenting on the study findings, Vishikh Talwar- Managing Director- Kantar Millward Brown, South Asia, said: “Gender is a sensitive topic – one that society is currently renegotiating across social, cultural, political and commercial spheres. The India leg of the survey comes at a very pertinent time as the subject of gender portrayal has gained immense importance both globally and closer to home. The report highlights that the bulk of ads in India are targeted at women; but marketers appear to be targeting them led more by stereotypes. Gender targeting should not be an either/ or decision and we need to challenge these outdated assumptions. From a portrayals perspective, more emphases need to be made towards aspirational and authoritative roles. The industry as a whole needs to be more aware than ever that things need to change.”
 
Key Highlights:

Globally, gender-balanced brands drive greater brand value while brands that skew towards men tend to underperform and are valued on average US$9bn less. Only one in three brands achieve this balance in India.
Getting the gender placement right is important, especially from a digital and static perspective because it can be used as a targeting and optimization variable in these channels.
In the wake of the #MeToo movement, the industry globally claims they are actively designing for both genders and representing them in a progressive context. But less female marketers are convinced with the way they’re portraying men in the advertisements.
Good ads work well with both genders. New information has the highest receptivity in India, more than 50% men and women become more positive towards the ads that have new information. This is closely followed by humour which has a critical role to play in improving the ad receptivity with both genders.
Breaking stereotypes helps. Female players in sports ads are loved by women audiences and it also surprises men; generating increased engagement.

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