Use Your Advertising Dollars to Reach the Male Demographic
By Peter Koeppel
the old days of advertising, all a marketer needed to do was decide
whether the company wanted to reach men or women with their
advertising message, and then create and place an appropriate ad on
the right TV or radio station and in a certain section of the local
newspaper. Because so few marketing mediums existed, advertising was
easy, at least by today’s standards.
days, marketing is a bit more complex. New technologies and
increased options for how people spend their leisure time make
reaching your target market a bit harder. On top of that, you need
to do more than simply decide whether you want to reach men or
women. You also need to delve deep into the different generations to
make your message relevant, and you need to place your message in
the correct place for your ideal target customer to see it.
is that today’s media is getting more fragmented. While you used to
be able to reach the majority of the population via television,
today television reaches a small percentage of the population.
Things like the Internet, online gaming, DVDs, iPods, Xboxs, and
more compete for people’s attention. That means these mediums are
competing for your advertising dollars as well.
purposes of this article, we’ll explore how to reach the male
demographic. Why focus on men? Because eye-opening research on how
men spend their leisure time was recently released by Advertising
Age magazine. In it, columnist Mike Vorhaus asked consumers of
both genders and of all ages to identify from a list of activities
their favorite leisure activity. What he found in the male category
impacts all advertisers who have a product that targets men.
Distinct Generations: When it comes to favorite pastimes of men,
three distinct generations emerge: 12-24 year olds, 25-44 year olds,
and 45-64 year olds. Each group prefers to spend their leisure time
differently, which means marketers need to tailor not only their
message, but also their message placement, if they want to attract
consumers in more than one age group.
12-24 Year Olds: This group ranks playing games on
consoles such as PlayStation 2 and Xbox as their number one
leisure activity (34%), followed by playing sports (14%), and
using the Internet (13%). Listening to music, watching
television, and reading magazines (some of the top advertising
mediums used by many marketers) only ranked in at 7%, 6%, and 1%
respectively. So if you’re an advertiser trying to reach this
demographic, you need to consider supplementing your television,
radio, and print ads with new advertising vehicles, such as
billboards in video games, as well as with online advertising.
Even though this group doesn’t read traditional print media very
much, they do read articles and view ads online.
25-44 Year Olds: This group ranks using the Internet as
their number one leisure activity (18%), followed by watching
television (16%), playing games on consoles such as PlayStation
2 and Xbox (12%), and listening to music (10%). While this group
does show some stronger ties to traditional mediums, newer
technologies like the Internet, video games, and iPods still
have a heavy draw on this demographic. So if you’re trying to
reach men in this market, you really need to diversify your
advertising dollars and exposure. This group is nothing like
their fathers or grandfathers—they are up-to-date on the new
gizmos and gadgets…and they like them.
45-64 Year Olds: This group ranks watching television as
their number one leisure activity (23%), followed by using the
Internet (20%), and listening to music (6%). Perhaps most
surprising is that this older group of men is quickly becoming
tech-savvy and using new technologies in areas outside of work.
Even in this demographic, things like playing sports and playing
video games on consoles still had a ranking of 5% and 4%
respectively. So if you’re trying to reach a more mature market,
don’t simply assume television ads are the way to go. People in
this demographic are online, playing sports, and gaming with the
best of them. They’re re-writing the rules of what it means to
It All Means: The bottom line is that men like multimedia, no
matter what their age. And as an advertiser, you can’t rely on just
one medium to reach men. Additionally, the media consumption
patterns differ by age group. Understanding that will allow you to
more effectively reach men in various demographic groups.
example, let’s suppose you’re advertising a new car (something all
men in all age groups can appreciate). In the past, a few ads on TV
and in magazines or newspapers would do the trick to effectively
spread the word about a new car model. Before long most men in the
target audience would know about the car and be talking about it.
Today you have to take a more complex approach. In addition to your
TV and print ads, you’d have to have a web presence with online ads
and articles pointing to your web site. On the web site you might
have a marketing video of the car model and in-depth statistics
about the new vehicle. You would also need to seriously consider
utilizing video-on-demand marketing via cable or satellite TV
networks to more effectively sell your car. This way men could view
all the details about the new car when it’s convenient for them or
right after they see a short TV ad. Finally, you might run a
billboard ad in various video games that offer advertising, and if
you have a really big advertising budget, your car could also be the
game character’s transportation method of choice.
sounds like a fragmented approach to marketing, it is…and that’s the
point. In order to reach men you have to spread your advertising
dollars appropriately and look at marketing in a whole new way.
Ultimately, if you don’t understand the different generations and
market to them accordingly, you could be wasting both your time and
money. So take heed of this advertising advice. Doing so could
enable you to reach more male prospects, close more sales, and
increase your company’s overall profits.
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