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58% Ads Target Women Exclusively, 35% Target Both Genders: Kantar Report

Marketers in India are missing potential opportunities to reach out to men in the categories where both genders are equal decision makers, according to a Kantar report.

Mumbai: Marketers in India are missing potential opportunities to reach out to men in the categories where both genders are equal decision makers, according to a Kantar report.

It revealed the disconnect between consumer and business opinions of gender portrayals in advertising.

The Ad Reaction report noted that 58 percent ads on air target women exclusively, and only 35 percent are targeted towards both genders.

While the clear majority of marketers globally (more than 75 percent) think they are avoiding gender stereotypes, 76 percent of female consumers and 71 percent of male consumers believe that the way they're portrayed in advertising is completely out of touch, it said.

It noted that globally, gender-balanced brands drive greater brand value while brands that skew towards men tend to underperform and are valued on average USD 9 billion less, while only one in three brands achieve this balance in India.

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, it said.

It observed that 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.

It also noted that new information has the highest receptivity in India, more than 50 percent of men and women become more positive towards the ads that have new information.

This is closely followed by humor which has a critical role to play in improving the ad receptivity with both genders.

"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 Gender targeting should not be an either-or decision and we need to challenge these outdated assumptions.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, said Vishikh Talwar-managing director- Kantar Millward Brown, South Asia.