|Gendered Marketing Strategies
||[Apr. 30th, 2004|07:52 pm]
I thought I'd explore the differences in the websites of products marketed mainly to males (I chose condoms) and products marketed to females (I chose tampons). I wanted to choose a female contraceptive device, but there weren't any that were strongly branded the way condoms and tampons are.|
I went to the Trojan and Durex websites, as well as the Kotex and Tampax websites. I found that both condom websites were similarly structured--they had a no-nonsense sort of layout--with information, downloads, and even games. There were few graphics.
The tampon websites both greeted me with huge photodisplays of smiling women from what appeared to be diverse backgrounds. The websites appeared to be created to be pretty and comfortable-looking, and seemed to have a conversational tone. For instance, where a condom website would have a link that said, "Info Center", the tampon website would have something like, "Info, please!"
Tampax said, "Would you like your next period to be more comfortable? Find out how!" This link to you to it's tampon selector. Trojan, on the other hand, just had a link saying, "Trojan Selector".
Kate Bornstein, a male-to-female transsexual says that before her transition when working in sales, customers would want to hear her "expert opinion". But when she presented herself as female, they no longer wanted any facts or opinions from her when deciding on a product.
I get this impression with these websites. The condom websites are upfront informational, while the tampon websites adopt a friendly tone. To me, this feels condescending and sexist and seems like an example of creating a certain role for women to fulfil to keep us down.
What do you think? Is this difference in marketing strategy significant? Does it reflect social roles or mirror them or is it irrelevant?
Here are the websites I checked: