If You Want Women to Hear You, Sound Optimistic

thumbs-up-greenResults of a recent 51-country Nielsen Happiness Study reveal that women are more optimistic about the future than men, scoring higher on predictions of their happiness in the next six months.  The study also showed that men are happier with money, while women are happier with friendships and relationships with their children, co-workers and bosses.

“Because they are happier with non-economic factors, women’s happiness is more recession-proof, which might explain why women around the world are happier in general than men are,” said Bruce Paul, VP Consumer Research, US, The Nielsen Company. Read Retuers’ coverage of Nielsen’s findings.

Some advertisers like Pepsi and Dunkin Donuts have already begun to capitalize on this with their new campaigns. You might note from below that spokespeople for both Dunkin’ Donuts and Pepsi are women. I’m just saying.

This past week’s AdAge weekly poll touched on this very subject. Topic and poll results are shown below.

In the past month, a number of marketers have rolled out efforts based on optimism and hope — much like a certain president-elect. “The economy has people rattled, and consumer confidence is at historic lows,” said Frances Allen, Dunkin’ Donuts’ chief brand-marketing officer. The campaign, she said, is a “reminder just to keep moving.” Meanwhile, a Pepsi spokeswoman had this to say about the company’s most recent effort: “New Year’s is one of the most optimistic times of the year, a chance to ‘refresh’ as a country and for everyone as individuals. We believe this is the ideal time to launch our new campaign.”

Do you think the optimistic messaging now being used by Pepsi, Lays, Dunkin’ Donuts and others will move more product? picture-371

Time will tell for these advertisers, but it only makes sense. Women are more optimistic and they want to associate with and listen to optimism. Although most everyone is more than apprehensive about the immediate future, you would be wise to present the glass half full when targeting women.


Stephanie Holland is President and Executive Creative Director for Holland + Holland Advertising, Birmingham, Alabama. Working in an industry that is dominated by men, she is one of only 3% of the female creative directors in the country. Stephanie works mostly with male advertisers, helping them successfully market to women. Subscribe to She-conomy by Email

5 Responses to “If You Want Women to Hear You, Sound Optimistic”

  1. Today, we need optimism to … crisis, so women´s social features are now perfect. Will everyone notice and appreciate it?


  2. agreed, and actually good advice nowadays for marketing to anyone. don’t overdue it though, be honest..

  3. Great advice! Optimism would seem to be valuable as a general rule. Who wants to buy something if their pessimistic about the future?

  4. Optimism, to me, seems a no brainer for advertisers in today’s scary world. This brings to mind the recent Allstate “mayhem” ads featuring Dean Winters as mayhem personified. The spots are darkly funny, but also a dark reminder of all the things that add stress to our lives in a world still battered by recession and pummeled by daily delivery of bad news ranging from the BP oil spill to horrifying weather-related disasters and devastating unemployment. We live in a time of mayhem. Many people are scared. But does that make adding to the scare fest a good marketing strategy? I think not — even in an industry, such as insurance, that makes its money based on people’s need to protect themselves from bad things.

    At this point in my life, I’d much rather see smart, funny ads that ring true in my world. Advertisers should not underestimate the power of laughter. Smart, funny ads keep the advertiser’s name top of mind. Such ads make me grateful to the advertiser for entertaining me for 30 seconds and making my day a bit brighter.

    You can see the Allstate “Mayhem” ads at http://bit.ly/d9bgDs

    You can see great examples of smart, funny insurance ads at http://bit.ly/9qqmHe

  5. Dean Winters is hot as MAYHEM!

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