The Vagenda

Adweek Has Research on When You Feel Most Insecure


In the latest Thing That Makes You Want To Log Off The Internet And Join A Nomadic Community In The Highlands news, Advertising Week has recently published some research (below) on how The Ad People can ‘identify the right audience’ by pouncing on female consumers when they’re at their most insecure. Of course, we always knew that marketeers were manipulating women’s insecurities to sell products, but never have we seen it rendered so explicitly. 
‘Identifying the right audience is critical for marketers, but pinpointing the right day and time to talk to that audience can be just as important, especially when it comes to a product category as personal as beauty’, says the voice of pure, cynical evil. ’PHD surveyed women about when they feel their prettiest and ugliest, and the results have implications for marketers (and really, anyone planning to speak to women on a Monday morning, when they feel their worst).’
Whoever came up with this: please crawl back to your cave in Mordor. The world is sad enough already.


6 thoughts on “Adweek Has Research on When You Feel Most Insecure

  1. The Hitchhiker’s Travel Guide describes the Marketing Department of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation as:

    “A bunch of mindless jerks who’ll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes.”

    Curiously, an edition of the Encyclopedia Galactica which conveniently fell through a rift in the time-space continuum from 1000 years in the future describes the Marketing Department of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation as:

    “A bunch of mindless jerks who were the first against the wall when the revolution came.”

  2. A more useful study of this data could yield some extremely interesting results, but I doubt it’ll ever really be analysed when it could instead just be used to make huge amounts of unethical money for the men at the top of the game. After all, a woman’s attractiveness per se doesn’t change on a day-to-day basis (or at least not that dramatically), merely our perception of it: why is this? What daily external (or indeed internal) factors are changing our attitudes towards ourselves, lowering our self-worth, causing us to doubt what yesterday seemed perfectly fine, and seeking outward reassurance and expensive face creams so that we may once again claw our way back up to a level where we feel more or less ok?

    Beyond the initial disgust that the data had been gathered in the first place, it strikes me as incredibly sad that now that we’ve got it, we can’t go further and help women realise that a) you’re as pretty today as you were yesterday, b) beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and c) it doesn’t matter anyway, because we’re worth SO MUCH MORE than a face and a pair of boobs, whether they’re wrinkly and saggy or flawless and perky.

    And I say all of this as a woman who has a deep-rooted tendency to focus all of my issues on my physical imperfections, perhaps precisely for the reasons this study was initiated. If I do well at work, I feel great and therefore more attractive because I know I’m intelligent so my dress size doesn’t matter; if I mess something up, I castigate myself, feel down generally, and begin to fixate on the fact that I should lose weight, do something with my hair, wear better clothes etc. I hate it about myself, but I do it anyway. So again, the study is so superficial that it neglects to consider the additional factors which influence a woman’s feelings about herself. On a Monday, most women will be tired from partying all weekend and hanging out with loads of friends, concerned about the huge amount of work we’re about to face at the office which we’ve been given because we’re so good at our jobs, and worried about any number of other issues (money, relationship, oops I meant to call my mum and forgot, did I water the plants, I still can’t find the hoover, when can I find time to go to the dentist, should I get a pension, etc). But entirely thanks to the media and marketers like those who commissioned this study, our attractiveness is so tied in to who we are, it’s no wonder we boil all of that down into a single thought: I feel overwhelmed = worthless = ugly. It never had anything to do with attractiveness in the first place, but they’re spectacularly good at making us feel like it did. For shame.

  3. I avoid advertising like the plague. I fast forward through TV ads on my TiVo. I don’t buy magazines. Sometimes I close down my browser because of annoying ads. This article demonstrates why. Adverts aimed at women used to make me feel bad about myself. Now they just make me angry. These people are surely alienating many members of their potential audience.

  4. Quite frankly I don’t let beauty advertising influence me as I feel beautiful enough for myself and don’t need to make myself attractive for any man. Why other women feel so ugly and sad is a mystery to me. Perhaps they believe all this shit.