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October 6, 2005

News & Opinion: The Power of the Purse--Sony Joins the Ranks of Marketing to Women

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 3:15 PM – Filed under: Innovation & Creativity, Marketing & Sales

The great thing about women and marketing is there is never a dearth of great stories and ideas to keep the conversation going...and that goes for the companies featured in "The Power of the Purse." All of the companies are continuing to update and improve upon their efforts toward women. McDonald's is moving ahead with plans to put Wi-Fi into many of its restaurants and renovate decor to be more inviting to women. It's rolled out several new products as well like more robust coffee and a new apple-walnut salad. Nike has launched a smart, sassy ad campaign about women's bodies that proclaims the beauty of bodies--no matter what their size. One goes like this: my butt is big and round like the letter C. My butt is big and that's just fine and those who might scorn it are invited to kiss it." You can check out this ad and others at www.nikewomen.com and download them to your computer if one of them inspires you.
Plus, more and more companies are joining companies such as Nike and McDonald's in radically rethinking what women consumers want and what they will buy. Sony has joined the ranks of technology marketers such as Kodak, which found success in focusing on women for its EasyShare camera. For the launch campaign of its Bravia brand of flat-screen television it rolled out the tagline: Introducing Bravia. The World's First Television for Men and Women." The tagline isn't all that enlightening. But the ads, especially online, are attention-getting because they break from the crowd of flat-screen television screen manufacturers who often tout megapixels and size. The size--some of these TVs boast 60-inch plus screens--were often the cause of arguments between men and women. I met a furniture maker who said he was doing a great business in creating cabinets that would hid these big flat screens. He says his male customers told him their wives would only agree to their buying a big tv if they also bought something they could hide it in.
Sony is countering that battle of the sexes with some humor that also plays up the beauty of the Bravia design. The ads go on to say the television will "be coveted by men and admired by women." Sony needs to break away from the crowd--and women might just be the way to put the big electronics company back in the black. As MSNBC pointed out, Sony has been hit hard by consumers' quick shift from the old "cathode ray" television to plasma screen technology. We'll have to see if a woman's touch will help Sony as it did Kodak.