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The Evolution of Gender Roles at Home and Implications for Marketing to Women

Online • May 12, 2016

Gain exclusive access to research on gender stereotypes in the home. Harbinger and Ellevate Network will reveal new research on how gender roles at home are evolving, including a look at how Ellevate members’ behaviors and attitudes compare to the North American average.

Thu, May 12, 2016 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT

Gender stereotypes at home and in the workplace remain a current and broad topic of interest. Recently, the 2016 Gates Annual Letter placed a spotlight on the burden of unpaid household work, globally.

Join Harbinger, North American marketing to women experts, and Ellevate on May 12 as we reveal new research on how gender roles at home are evolving, including a look at how Ellevate members’ behaviors and attitudes compare to the North American average.

The webinar will also share specific actionable recommendations for marketers of household goods and services.

Learn more at:


00:01 Jennifer: Thank you, Johanna, for that introduction. We're so excited to be here with you, and really excited to give you the first look at this research because as Johanna mentioned, you guys get the very first peek at what we found before we revealed the study findings to the broader media, as well as our other clients and others in the marketing space. So, I understand there's a bit of a delay here in terms of when I speak when we move slides, so please bear with us. We'll do our very best to keep you on pace and move you through our content today. Before we get going, just a few housekeeping notes. We will be distributing the whitepaper, which has a whole bunch more detail with regards to our findings, and we would ask that if you'd like a copy, please enter your email address in the chat function, and we will be sure to send you that whitepaper when it's released next week. Also, at the conclusion, we'll be taking a Q and A. So if you have questions throughout the presentation, please pop those into the chat function, and we look forward to getting to those when we conclude the presentation. Without further ado, we're gonna jump into the content. I'm gonna kick it off, and then, we're gonna have Peter joining as we move through.

01:20 Jennifer: Hang on a second, I'm gonna move these to the next slide. Here we go. Our agenda for today: We're going to walk you through three sections, and then, move into some case studies. We'll begin with behaviors, so who's actually doing what in the home. And I'm sure you ladies, and if there are any gents out there, will be interested to compare how your household functions relative to the average North American. And then, of course, we'll show you what we learned about the Ellevate membership. We're gonna walk through belief and aspirations. How do people actually feel about gender roles? And are there things happening today that perhaps, they'd like to change? Then, we're gonna walk through marketing perceptions. To what extent do consumers feel that advertisers are fairly portraying reality? And to what extent are certain categories, perhaps, a little bit off base? And then, finally, we're gonna conclude with some very specific examples of brands that we feel have tipped the mark or missed the mark, and really put our marketing recommendations into practice. And then, finally, we'll conclude with those questions and answers.


02:28 Jennifer: Alright, so before we get into the content, I have to give you a brief introduction to Harbinger. We are a North American marketing agency and we are experts in marketing to women. In business for over 25 years, we really focus on helping marketers to understand, reach, and connect with women. Our clients range a whole broad array of consumer categories ranging from personal care, to electronics, financial services, food and beverage, and it's very interesting and enjoyable to tackle all of the different female-oriented challenges and apply our knowledge to that broad array of clients.

03:09 Jennifer: Why did we do this study? Well, for those of you who may or may not have read my blog post from the other week, I am very fortunate to live in a household with a husband who does far more than I do around the house, and it happens that we do hire a little bit of help, and he's actually a man, too. I, for one, know that things are a lot different than they were when I was a child and observing my own parents. And Harbinger has a belief that marketers are not keeping pace with the rate of change in terms of people taking on roles that are not traditionally associated with their own gender. So, women doing more in terms of home maintenance, playing more with electronics and tech; meanwhile, men stepping up in the areas like laundry, cleaning, and cooking. And so, we really wanted to test this to see the extent to which things are changing, and then, see the extent to which marketers are falling short, and derive some learnings for you. Again, you'll find it interesting as a consumer, but certainly, if you're a marketer, you'll find some interesting takeaways that you can apply to your business.

04:13 Peter: Our focus on this study was on three key areas, and more importantly, the relationship between those areas, as well. First of all, who is the task-owner or the doer of household jobs who's primarily responsible for actually taking on these things in the home? Who is this primary decision-maker in choosing those household products and services? And how are they influenced by the actual person doing the job, as well? And finally, what kind of job are marketers doing in speaking to the doers of household jobs and those purchase decision makers? And importantly, how well are they addressing what the aspirational situation is in the home? We'll get to that more later on.

04:58 Peter: While we explored a range of categories that you see here, our focus today will be on the primary categories you see on the left. Basically, these are the categories where we explore both the doers of activities and the purchasers of the products and services. Clearly, doing a task is a little bit less relevant to the secondary categories that you see here. And again, as Jen mentioned, we encourage you to request a copy of the whitepaper, which has more information on the results from the secondary category, specific to areas such as personal care and grooming for men. So, be sure to enter your email into the chat function.

05:35 Jennifer: And with regard to study methodology, we did survey about 1500 respondents, both in Canada and the US, and those responses were weighted for representativeness of the average North American household. Again, more detail on that methodology in the whitepaper, we encourage you to check that out.

05:55 Peter: We'll present three key takeaways upfront from the study, and we'll be rounding these out in more detail as we walk you through the results, commenting, as I mentioned, with some key takeaways and opportunities for marketers. The first of these overall takeaways is really, that's the major overriding theme for the day, and that is that we see women are still the dominant influencer of household products. And not surprisingly, dominate doing many of the household jobs. But, those traditional gender roles are changing, and we expect that pace of change to only increase, and this is a really important theme for today.

06:35 Peter: Secondly, largely because of those changing roles in the home, marketers are falling short on how they communicate with consumers. This is creating a disconnect between the messages marketers are or might be delivering, and the realities of the evolving household, and importantly, where those households actually want to be in an ideal situation.

07:00 Peter: Third, consumers are very, very clear. They are looking for sure representation from marketers in the gender roles that are actually playing out in the household. Marketers can win with women and men by portraying and supporting the broader roles that men are playing, in particular. Yes, as a matter of fact, you can win with women by effectively communicating with men. We've got some great examples of this at the end that have worked both ways, both as an effective and ineffective way in terms of how marketers are succeeding in addressing these roles.


07:40 Peter: And as we move through the results, we'll be focusing on these three key breakouts, which are the areas where we clearly saw the most significant contrast in trends. The first of those is the differences between the behaviors and attitudes of men versus women, obviously, this is a gender role study. Secondly, older versus younger generational trends. And finally, the significant impact we saw on the difference in the households where the woman worked more than 40 hours or at least 40 hours a week versus where she didn't.

08:12 Jennifer: And we know that you're waiting with bated breath to hear the answers with regard to Ellevate, and we can assure you they are quite interesting, so look forward to those.

08:24 Peter: We'll walk you through some of the key differences upfront right now. First of all, looking at women versus men, specifically, we do see that men still tend to work a few more hours in a job, in a full-time job per week. But men and women, interesting, see their contributions of household jobs very differently. There is very much a he said, she-said scene that we'll see playing out. However, there were also some important areas where there was alignments between men and women. They actually do see eye-to-eye, and this will be very significant for marketers because they're very much on the same page with respect to what they want to see in advertising and marketing messages.

09:11 Peter: Contrasting the older, what we called the boomer generation, versus millennials, we see that millennials are spending less time, overall, in household chores. However, it's among millennials where we see important trends that are indicators of long-term change. Notably, millennial men are assuming more traditionally female-oriented tasks. And consistent with that is millennials would also like to see these trends reflected in advertising. So, there's a real theme playing out among the younger generation.

09:48 Peter: And finally, when we compared households where the woman actually worked in a full-time job, at least 40 hours a week, versus where she did not, time spent at a full-time job is very much a factor in how many hours is spent on household chores per week, and also, on how much men are contributing and pitching in around the home, as well. You can see here that there is much more gender equality in who's tackling household jobs in households where the woman works full-time.


10:25 Jennifer: Alright, so this is my opportunity to say thank you to all of those who took the time to complete our abbreviated survey for the Ellevate group. As you'll get a sense for here, the survey that we conducted with the broader North American audience was much longer, more complex, and we shortened that up for you so that we could have some stats to have fun with here today as we compare you to the bigger group. We have 393, almost 400 of you fill out that survey. I think there were two lonely men who completed it, and we thank you as well. And what we did here in order to compare apples to apples when we showcased your results against the broader group, is we focused mostly on women who are part of a couple with a spouse or a partner of the opposite sex, and who work 40 hours per week. And the reason for this is, like I said, we wanna compare women with women because we know that women and men didn't necessarily see eye-to-eye on everything, and we found that comparing those folks who work full-time got us the biggest, most interesting differences.


11:38 Jennifer: Alright, so behaviors. Who does what today? This is the section where we're gonna tell you a little bit more about the realities of today, and how things are changing. Specifically, here, we had a look at how much time are households spending on chores, who's actually completing the various tasks around the home, and then what's that relationship with purchase, as Peter indicated.

12:11 Jennifer: Okay, the average household in the United States and Canada right now is spending almost a full day a week on household chores. These are things like cooking, cleaning, taking care of home telecom and tech, yard work, basic repairs. Now, Peter mentioned he didn't include things like childcare here or automobiles because you can only cover so much. But what we did find is unanimously, women are doing more, so probably not a surprise, but they're doing 65% more, spending 65% more time than their male counterparts on an average week.

12:57 Jennifer: Now, how to validate compare. Again, looking at females who work full-time, there was about 275 of you. I'm sorry for those that don't fall into this category but comparing Ellevate, you guys do more house work. On average, you're doing about 25 hours a week in your homes as compared to 22 hours on average among those women who work full-time.

13:19 Jennifer: And when you compare your workload split with your spouses, it's very similar to what we found for the broader audience where because you're working full-time, there's a much more equitable distribution of the time you're spending and that's probably a reflection on capacity because you're working and you don't have necessarily more time to be contributing to those chores. And then also interesting, Peter mentioned that when a woman works, she tends to spend less time on house work, but that's even more pronounced in the case of the Ellevate membership where you're spending almost double the amount of time left and your men are stepping up twice as much. Again, quite interesting and we're assuming it may be reflective of the demands of your chosen careers and professions.

14:07 Jennifer: And if these are surprises, I encourage you to type them in the comments bar cause we'd be interested to know. Now, with regard to task ownership here, again, more detail in the whitepaper. We've consolidated it, but probably not surprising, so you still see tasks that are very stereotypically female verses male.

14:25 Jennifer: What we did here was we said, "What's the difference between the percentage of men who are contributing to this task and the percentage of women?" For example, there're 45% more women taking care of cleaning and laundry than there are men in North America. And on the flip side of that, you've got 53% more men participating in home maintenance and repair. And then there are items like finances which frankly, we were quite happy to see was more of a gender neutral activity where hopefully, couples are doing those things together. Again, not surprising.

15:01 Jennifer: Now, here's a call out for you. Women are twice as likely to be involved in nearly all aspects of meal planning and preparation, whereas less than half of guys are involved in this activity. Almost 100% of women are taking care of it for their household.

15:27 Peter: Now, for most of the categories, we saw a real parallel between the actual doer of the household activity and the person buying the product or services. They very much mirrored one another. However, there were actually a few exceptions to this and specific in areas like laundry where men tend to do more work but they're not necessarily involved in buying the products to actually get the job done. It also involved in areas like home maintenance where women are more involved as purchasers of the actual products or services more so than they actually are involved in doing the jobs themselves. When you think about it, it may not be a huge surprise that men are more concerned about just getting the laundry done and maybe not that concerned about the products they're using to do it. This might very well relate to your own household. Or practically speaking, it's not surprising that women might be involved in the job of scheduling maintenance or service people in the home because that would be, given time demands, minimum would be sharing those types of responsibilities.

16:33 Jennifer: Alright. If we're gonna sum up the key takeaways here, with regard to who's doing the work and who's making the purchases, these are the key takeaways. As stated at the outset, women still are very much dominant influencers and again much more detail on the whitepaper but to look at things like personal care, even men's personal care and grooming, there's a very large influence from women in these places and we assume that's going to continue.

17:03 Jennifer: Millennials are defying stereotypes. What we didn't share with you is the extent to which men are stepping up in roles like laundry and cleaning and it is quite significant when you look at the proportion of millennials who are doing these tasks as compared to boomers, and definitely indicate the future trend where men are gonna be taking on more things. And we also saw the flip side where women are taking on some additional tasks that were traditionally stereotyped as male.

17:30 Jennifer: And then finally, where we do see this trend continuing is more women are entering and remaining in the workforce, and in households when she's working, we do see that there's a much more equitable distribution of time. If women keep stepping up and staying in and leaning in as Sheryl Sandberg might say, we'll definitely see this continued trend whereby men and women don't really care what the gender is, they just wanna get the job done.

18:00 Jennifer: Alright. The next section here we're going to walk into attitude, beliefs, aspirations. Are people actually happy with how this is shaping out? And specifically, what we looked at here is we said, "What's actually driving the distribution of chores?" And this is one where we've got some Ellevate data for you. We looked at general attitudes towards gender roles and the allocations, also have some cool stats on that. And then finally, we made some inference here but we looked at the extent to which people are actually happy with how things are shaping out and what that might mean for marketers in terms of showing a more idealistic or more aspirational home.

18:40 Jennifer: Okay, so probably not surprising to look at this chart here where capacity is up at the top as one of those key drivers of who does what and we see that mirrored in the data. Where a man on average is working about six hours more per week, a woman is on average doing about four and a half hours more of housework. You really see that capacity play out. What did surprise us here was ability, that this idea of who is capable or experienced tops the list as an influence. If you think about a lot of these roles that we're looking at, and women, you maybe laughing, shaking your heads, and men like, "What?" They're not necessarily that difficult.

19:18 Jennifer: In absence of needing specific skills or experience, is ability really standing in the way of men doing more laundry or men participating a little more actively in cleaning or could I say the same for some basic home maintenance and repair like taking out trash or changing a light bulb? We do see this as an opportunity for marketers and we'll touch on that a bit more later. The other surprise here was the extent to which gender is still a factor. Half of people said that, "You know, a man or woman traditionally does it and therefore that's how we do it in my home." And that was a little bit surprising to us when you consider that times have changed and we've moved on a little bit.

20:01 Jennifer: Alright, Ellevate folks, here you go. Ability, same for you guys. You agreed that that's a top factor. And you just want to get a job done, it's understandable. Let's let the person who knows what they're doing take care of that. What did surprise us is everything else was significantly less important to you and gender really jumps out. Whereas only one in five of Ellevate women who work full-time thinks that gender has an influence on who's doing what in their home, still about half of women who work full-time in the broader population consider that an influence as to who's doing what. And so, this is really telling a story now of the Ellevate group being perhaps a little bit more open-minded in terms of gender roles and having a different point of view on how that impacts who does what.

20:55 Jennifer: Again, we continue down this road of attitudes and we said, "How do you actually feel about the role of gender or the role of work in influencing things?" And we found something interesting here. Three-quarters of homes believe that spouses should always contribute equally. However, this is at odds with the fact that even more people said that a spouse that spends two hours working should be doing more and again we really see this play out in the story with regard to how work is allocated in a home where she works as opposed to where she doesn't work full-time. And then, again, gender bias popping up here as relevant, where almost half of people believe that if you're a man, there are some things you should do and if you are a man, there are some things that you shouldn't do because it's a woman's job. And that's very interesting to the extent that marketers are treading challenging ground in terms of accommodating both points of view on gender roles.

22:00 Jennifer: Now, Ellevate has a different point of view. Again, here in these call outs, we're focusing on those women who work full-time and the Ellevate group is half as likely to agree that spouses should always contribute equally. And again, I'm assuming here that that's reflective of some of your professional choices and that perhaps your capacity is such that equal isn't necessarily fair. We also did see that there's a higher likelihood to outsource some help among the Ellevate crowd, could be a relationship with income because we did see that that was a factor. But, definitely an interesting stat significance. Even more significant again is this gender theme whereby the Ellevate Group, which is a group about supporting women, right? You guys don't believe that these gender roles apply to the same extent as the rest of the population. So, only one in 10 of you would agree with the rest of the women who work full-time who believe that gender roles actually impact who does what.

23:08 Peter: Among the most interesting things we found in the study was the very different perception between men and women and the extent to which each believes they're pulling their weight in the home. And there's a real he said, she said element to this and this may very well raise a few smiles among the audience if you think back to what's happened in your own household. You can see here that women are much more likely than men to believe that they're doing more than their fair share in the home and not surprisingly, all of them are more likely than men to believe that men are doing less than their fair share. Still, when we look at this, we were still somewhat surprised by the fact that nearly one in five men admit that they're not doing their fair share.

23:49 Peter: We think that actually spells opportunity and some of the themes we're seeing with men not doing their fair share in specific areas, and that actually the doors opened a little bit here for men to do more and for marketers to empower them to do so. This shows the specific areas where men acknowledge that they're falling short. And it's notable, as I mentioned, because laundry cleaning and meal planning and prep are also those areas where we see millennials, especially, are contributing more. Again, we see that trend in younger generation where people are more open-minded to assuming these kinds of jobs and, again, it speaks to opportunity for marketers, but we'll have more on that later on.

24:37 Jennifer: Okay, key takeaway here, probably don't need to belabor these, but the aspirational home is an equitable one. Both men and women agree that there is a desire for more balance, in terms of the allocation and the effort put forth in various tasks. And men agree they can do more. As Peter stated, they're open-minded, they're willing to do more. Maybe they're just afraid, they need a little bit of confidence based on what we learned about abilities, seeing that barrier and opportunity. Again, all of this spells marketer opportunities whereby there's not a lot of risk and there's definitely reward to be had.

25:19 Peter: Now, we'll turn our attention to the third big area of our study which is the perception of advertising in light of all these changing roles and what does that all mean for people who are in the business of selling household products and services? North Americans feel pretty strongly about this and, again, there was a lot of alignment between men and women on this. North Americans generally feel brands are unfairly portraying gender roles and they want to see the roles men are playing portrayed more often. Perhaps even more important though is that they will purchase brands more often who do a good job showing men and women contributing equally to household chores. The real potential payoff for marketers here, it all comes down to that and we see that there's a huge opportunity here. And again, that alignment is key, that it's not necessarily men or women feeling very differently about this. They are very aligned in these messages, so a consistent opportunity for marketers.

26:19 Peter: And we see that trend continue again with millennials or younger generations, millennials and Gen Xers, brands stand to win especially with them because they are, again, even feels more strongly about the fact that advertisers need to reflect these changing roles in their communications.

26:39 Jennifer: Alright. This is our last Ellevate comparison slide. I think there was a little bit of contention with these questions because I know that they are a little biased in the way that they're framed, but it's because we were really trying to test the hypothesis here and I thank you all for being candid in your responses. The biggest thing we want you to take away here is that the Ellevate crowd is more likely to feel as though brands are not accurately reflecting the division of household chores. And we think that that makes perfect sense given that, again, the majority of you folks and specifically, again, focusing on the working full-time women here, are probably in quite demanding careers and it's not traditional the way that you're balancing it all and getting it all done. People are writing the new rules, rules that make sense for them and we think that your Ellevate membership definitely represent that future state where it doesn't matter who's doing what.

27:37 Jennifer: Now, we also asked the extent to which people perceive certain categories as being marketed explicitly to men, explicitly to women, or to both and, similar to what we did with those 'who's doing what' charts, we looked here at the percentage of people who feel as though the category is pushing dominantly toward a given gender. Cleaning and laundry, far and away targeting women whereas people perceive that home electronics are significantly more focused on men, although not to the same extent that there's a bias for women in cleaning and laundry. Hopefully, this is clear to you. Now, what's most significant is actually looking at how these stack up to reality. What we found here is that marketers are really exaggerating these stereotypical gender roles. This chart here is showing the difference between the extent to which ads focus specifically on one gender as opposed to the extent to which that activity is actually explicitly associated with that gender. So, you see that the worst offenders here in terms of stereotyping women would be home appliances, cleaning and laundry, and then, surprising perhaps, cable and telecom, looks like they're focusing on women more so than women are actually participating in the relevant activities.

28:56 Jennifer: And on the flip side, again, is men are much more likely to be at the center of gardening or yard work, home electronics, and financial services than is necessarily fair. We saw that financial services is a shared activity whereas advertisements tend to focus much more on men. And this all spells very clear opportunity. I think we're probably beating a dead horse a bit, but if you're a marketer out there, there's definitely an evolution happening. To compare perceptions of millennials and boomers, it's clear that millennials have a bit of a higher likelihood to perceive certain categories as being gender-neutral. And that might mean that marketers are doing a better job and objectively, we think that they are doing a better job but that they're not catching up with the pace of change. And that's where the biggest opportunity lies. And again, there's very little risk because of the shared mindsets, even among boomers, that it's okay to show men at the center of activities. And that, again, this willingness to support brands that pursue and empower equality, spells big opportunity.

30:08 Jennifer: Okay, so here's where rubber hits the road. We're going to walk you through what we actually think marketers should be doing with this information and sharing our examples. Straight off the bat, be more gender-inclusive. If we compare this millennial generation against boomers and we think about it in the context of women and men purchasing more homes as singles, and more women working full-time, we know that it is advantageous for brands to show women and men stepping outside of those stereotypical roles, because it is empowering and it reflects those who are already making those changes. We also know that men are not necessarily holding up their fair share, and that there's also a desire for kids to do more. And so, brands that can put men and children at the center of supporting moms are both rewarding those men who are already stepping up but also reflecting an aspirational home and demonstrating that they understand what a woman wants in her household.

31:05 Jennifer: And then finally, there are those specific communication standards that should be adhered to or considered as marketers go to work with these recommendations. This idea of empowerment and aspiration, that stepping up and stepping out of traditional gender roles is an act of leadership, and that it's something that should be reveled in and supported. And then there's giving people the confidence and giving them the tools and the instruction and the education they need to be successful at these roles. And then finally, there's that affirmation idea, that it is something that's appreciated. If a man or a child is to step up, or likewise a woman, that it will be noticed, and that it is something makes everyone better off.

31:50 Jennifer: And so, again, just to reinforce, we believe that these rules apply to all categories; however, when you consider where some of those gaps are, where the rate of change is fastest, you definitely see a big up in home cleaning, laundry, food and grocery, where men are much more active, and in home appliances, because appliances, of course, span cooking, cleaning, and laundry. And, I'm going to hand it over to Peter, to get into case studies.

32:19 Peter: Okay. This is the part of the webinar where we get to have a little fun and get to look at some brands that we feel at least, are doing a great, maybe just an okay job, or not a very good job, at being gender-inclusive and in empowering men. To do this, we've developed an extremely sophisticated emoji-like rating system to kind of show what we like and what we disapprove of, a little bit.

32:45 Jennifer: Alright.

32:46 Peter: So, the first example we have here is actually from LG an their twin wash machine campaign. What you see on the left here is there's different elements of this campaign and different ads they ran. The one on the left, is obviously just a general neutral, no people involved in it, and just focusing on the equipment itself. It gets kind of a neutral face from us, neither good nor bad. But the one of the right is a bit of a problem. These are examples of a social campaign that LG ran and the essence of the campaign was, these are all the things that women can do and the time they're gonna save by not spending so much time on their laundry. Of course, they're all very stereotypical activities. It's not just us who disapprove of this. LG got an earful on Twitter from women who disapproved of it as well. It's noteworthy that they ended up actually pulling the campaign and apologizing for it after. We weren't alone necessarily in giving it the thumbs down.

33:48 Jennifer: And I think there was a quote from a guy on social media that said something about, "I don't get manicures and I do all of the laundry in my house." That sounds like my husband.

34:01 Peter: Flipping to the extreme on the male side, you might be familiar with a new line of male-specific products called Hero Clean, and we gave it an unhappy face here, and primarily because we kind of asked the question, "Why do men need their own cleaners?" when we've already seen that ability and capacity are much greater factors in getting men more involved in cleaning. For this reason, we feel that the ads and product missed the mark; however, if you actually watched some of the campaign elements and sells, they use very stereotypical ways of connecting with men, and so for all those reasons, they get the unhappy face from us.

34:42 Jennifer: And I will add, for you ladies out there, if you search the Spray Campaign, they actually rather insult women. That is definitely an unhappy face.

34:57 Peter: Now, we can be generous, too. And we look at a brand, actually we feel did a really good job of actually empowering men. Male-focused messaging but not necessarily excluding women from the whole process. This is for Tide Pods and they ran a pretty comprehensive or multifaceted campaign, which included an NFL partnership, it included some really engaging videos where they worked with key influencers to reach different audiences. And overall, we thought they did a really good job of empowering men, showing men how easy it was to use the technology, how the technology even works, and getting them more involved in doing this, again, without being insulting or excluding women specifically. So for this empowering approach, we've given it a happy face or a thumbs up.

35:47 Peter: And then again on the theme of still being stereotypes in its portrayal of what roles are actually happening in the home, kind of a dual example here, one from Clorox and one from Pine-Sol. They get sort of a neutral rating from us mostly because we felt they went halfway. Each of these ads show men involved in doing some household work, on the left it's cooking dinner, on the right it's changing a dirty diaper. But in both cases, a woman is involved in cleaning up the mess after them. Now, it's pretty subtle sometimes too. If you actually watch these campaigns you don't actually even see a woman in them, but you do see a woman's hands putting the cleaning products away in the example of the Pine-Sol ads. So again, it would have been an opportunity to have men shown doing the whole thing. They actually can make their messes, but they can clean up after themselves too and not necessarily have a woman having to do it for them. For that reason, we've given it a neutral rating here but again, missed opportunity.

36:53 Peter: And then finally, on the thumbs-up side or happy face side, a campaign which we felt was very gender-inclusive was a Lysol toilet germs campaign which essentially had men and women sharing both the clean time and the screen time. So, they were both making messes but they were both cleaning up after themselves too. So it gets a smiley face from us for this gender-inclusive and empowering approach.

37:19 Jennifer: Alright. We're going to round out the case studies with a look at brands that are trying to address this notion of role modeling and of generations and of evolution, some of which have done a better job than others. I'm not sure if you folks have seen this Arm & Hammer commercial, but we are going to play it for you. I'd be interested if you could pick out what we think they've done wrong and then we'll give you the recap here.


38:18 Jennifer: Okay. Objectively, we actually think it's quite a beautiful commercial and we understand the insight that this is a brand that's been loved and trusted by generations of households, but what's missing is any boys or men. So, whereas I can speak to my lovely colleagues here and attest to the fact that they have cleaning advice to give and they've received cleaning advice themselves over the years and they've also participated in some of these laundry and cooking activities. We think it's a bit of a missed opportunity here to reflect this more modern interpretation of families where men are getting in on some of that household action. And then a brand that you've probably all heard of because this campaign created quite a stir, we've got Ariel. This is a very prominent Indian laundry detergent brand and they really broke some barriers, broke some ground with taking an overt approach to calling out men and asking them literally to share the load. You see in the screen here, "Why is laundry only a mother's job?" And we would definitely ask that question too. We're gonna play the commercial here. If you haven't seen it, it's a bit of a long one, two minutes, but we encourage you to sit through it because it is an excellent example of being provocative and encouraging men to step up.


41:30 Jennifer: Okay. Again, a fantastic example of really pushing the boundaries and encouraging men to step up. Now, interesting things for those marketers again wondering, "Did it actually have results?" Well, in the first month of the campaign, it increased awareness by over 130% and it increased sales by 60%. You can see that there's a lot of proof in this pudding, so to speak, and should note that this was part of a much more significant campaign where they did everything from partner with manufacturers on new clothing labels. We encourage you to look more into this and, again, we'll cover it in more detail in the whitepaper. And then, finally, just want to round out with a very heartwarming example of really speaking to women through men, again, here and really profiling that dad who can do it all. This is our final case study here, just a brief video. Enjoy.


43:23 Jennifer: And so, again, just to repeat the reason that we love this one is we think it does an excellent job of embodying that idea of competence and confidence, that it doesn't need to be perfect, but the effort is appreciated. And we think that's a really tremendous example of communicating to him, but also to her.

43:38 Jennifer: In conclusion, if you walk away with five points today, these are the five points that we hope you take away. Women dominate, but men are definitely stepping up at home and women appreciate it. Households are definitely aspiring to a more equal distribution of chores. There are things that will get in the way, like capacity and ability, but that creates opportunity, as well. Marketers are also stepping up, but yet, ads are lagging the pace of change. Consumers see this and they'd like to see a new approach. And that embracing gender inclusivity is very low risk for brands. Although the younger generations are more open-minded, we don't want to count boomers out, we don't want to count out Gen X either, because they're definitely embracing the idea that there aren't necessarily jobs for a woman and for a man all the time. And then, finally, that reward is going to be highest in those places where we're seeing a very quick rate of change in behavior. Purchase lagging a little bit, but with help from marketers, we think that we can get higher engagement from both men and women and drive purchase and preference for household brands.

44:49 Jennifer: With that, as marketers to women, we do need to add that we think this is a really interesting, sort of, ironic story, whereby to win a women's heart and her wallet actually means being more open-minded about the relationship she has with her partner and marketing to her through him, because they are very much a pair in the way that they approach life and we can't market to women without considering those men and the role that he plays in that household.

45:20 Jennifer: And with that, we'd like to open it up to questions. And I guess, just again housekeeping notes before Johanna jumps on... Again, if you haven't added your email address, please do that now. We'll be happy to send you the whitepaper, tons more details. And if you've got questions, we'll have our contact information on it and we're happy to take some follow-ups on any questions we haven't answered with the more detailed report. And then finally, when we send that whitepaper, we'll give you details to register for our September webinar. Thanks so much for joining us.

45:50 Peter: Thank you.

45:53 Johanna: Great, thanks, guys. Thank you for that awesome insightful presentation. As a reminder everyone, please submit any questions you have for Jennifer and Peter in through the chat function and I'll be happy to queue them up. We already have a few, so I'll go ahead and get started. The first question reads, "Have you seen an evolution in the way kids see gender stereotypes at home due to marketing of products?"

46:18 Jennifer: Well, I'm elated that somebody asked that question, because that is exactly what our September webinar is going to touch on, in fact. While we did not speak to or survey children, mostly because of the complexities of privacy, we are going to explore how gender roles of children are playing out, in terms of how parents are approaching parenting at large, but also then how parents are making decisions about gendered or un-gendered products for their children. If that is of interest, we encourage you to, again, add your email address there and we'll make sure we include the webinar details when we send out the whitepaper.

46:58 Johanna: Great. Our next question reads, "I often feel like I'm fighting a losing battle when I ask people to reconsider stereotypes. What's the best way to approach it without causing the other party to shut down?"

47:14 Jennifer: It's ironic, because I think stereotypes exist for a reason. They're usually a frame of reference that we use when we're thinking about a certain group of people or a certain activity, and so they are valuable in that regard. But I think the easiest way to challenge stereotypes is just to provide examples of people who defy that sense of normal. Actually, our head designer, in fact, wrote a paper for a design journal and one of the things she said is, "Show me a woman who loves pink and I'll show you two more women who love black." And this idea that you just need to demonstrate that the stereotype is not the rule and you do that through examples.

47:57 Peter: It's also an empowering side. We saw it specifically in the Whirlpool example, where's the real payoff for the other side as well.

48:06 Jennifer: Yes.

48:10 Johanna: Okay. Our next question, how do you respond to people who say, "I know you're offended that I stereotype, but I see in the numbers that it works?"

48:21 Jennifer: Well, that's a fair point but if you look at our numbers, although you're right, we're seeing that there is some alignment in the extent to which certain categories target women and the fact that those categories also over index for women taking the lead on those tasks and purchases. There's also another figure, another number that states that they're not happy with that reality. They're not happy that they're not receiving more support in this case. And they're not happy in the way that they're continuing to be marginalized or stereotyped or pegged as that mom or that dad by marketers. In fact, Tide is an excellent example, because for a brand that really was the original marketer to women with the soap opera, they've managed to create an integrated campaign for their laundry detergents that have components and elements that focus on men without alienating women and likewise speak to women without necessarily alienating men. I don't think it needs to be either/or, I think it can be both when approached strategically.

49:33 Johanna: Perfect. Just wanted to remind everyone to send in your questions before we wrap up. I have one more at the moment. Do you think marketers are making a change in their strategy because of the influence of consumers or because of the numbers they see?

49:53 Jennifer: I'd be interested to just to follow up with that question, understand what numbers they're referring to. Do they mean numbers about the consumer? Do they mean numbers in terms of sales performance or market activity?

50:04 Johanna: Yeah, I believe they mean in terms of sales.

50:07 Jennifer: Well, again, Ariel, fantastic example of a brand that really succeeded by being tremendously provocative. If you were to go on a Cannes Lion website and read a little bit more into the insight behind the campaign, India... And we did find, in fact, in the immigrant respondents that there is a more pervasive opinion that gender defines who does what. This was a very jarring message to put out in the market and it worked. Again, I think that there is never black and white rule. It's really gonna depend on the given category and the dynamics of your competitive side and all of those things. But there is proof that taking a unique position in the marketplace and being a little bit provocative with your point of view is tremendously powerful for driving awareness and can drive some really strong affinity from people who are otherwise just generally lukewarm in a category.

51:09 Peter: Yeah, we've seen from the huge conversation around the Ariel campaign, just how much marketers are gonna be paying attention to that, and tapping into that. It's similar with a brand that we're very familiar with, GovernancePlus Care that we've worked on since its launch really over seven years ago and where really ignited the conversation online about the changing roles guys are playing and assuming more roles and the payoff that we're seeing from that as well.

51:36 Jennifer: Yup. And you see that again with Cheerios. I'm sure any marketer are gonna have seen 'How to Dad,' it's an awesome commercial just in it's own right, but has had a tremendous impact on the success of the launch and just continuing positive sales results for the brand.

51:54 Johanna: That's it, guys. Thank you so, so much for a great presentation and a wonderful jam session and for sharing your findings with the Ellevate community exclusively before you publish next week. And thank you everyone who are listening in today. If you still got questions for Jennifer and Peter, please feel free to contact us with the information up on the screen and we'd love to heard from you as well, so please feel free to reach out to or through our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages. This jam session has been recorded and will be available to view on our website. Thanks, everybody. Have a great day. Thank you so much, Jennifer and Peter.

52:27 Jennifer: Thank you, Joanna. Thank you everyone who joined. Have a great day.

52:28 Peter: Thank you so much.

52:31 Johanna: Bye-bye.

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