3 Ways Advertising Attracts Straight Men

A man watches a woman walk towards him

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Advertising aimed squarely at the male target audience (specifically heterosexual males) seems to fall into three common buckets. There are obviously more ways to entice men than the three big categories listed here, but most fit into them. If you're a woman reading this, some may apply to you, too. After all, you also buy products for men. But advertisements that are aimed at you, for you, tend to fall into different categories.

The following three strategies show the ways straight men are patronized by advertisers every day of the year. And sadly, these methods work. Again and again and again. After you've read the article, take the challenge of watching ads aimed at men.

How many of them fall into one of these categories...or several? You can often find all three in ads for beer, trucks, and razor blades.


Men Like Very Masculine "Manly" Things

You only have to look at ads for beer, razors, cars, watches and even shower gel to see that. You can't sell a man a pink poofy plastic ball to use in the shower. A man's has to be black and red and blue and be accompanied by a powerful rock anthem and a ton of "hot chicks" swooning over his studly shower tool.

Men don't buy razor blades that glide effortlessly. Well, they do. But they make the sound of an Indy car as the rush across our cheeks. And there'll be a woman's hand massaging our smooth chin, for some reason.

Cars are enormous phallic symbols. Shower gel is related to planting your face headfirst in the ice and snow of Mount Everest, followed by splashing a torrent of near-freezing water over our faces in a move that would make Bear Grylls cry for his "mum."

Men are men and absolutely love the cliché. And as long as they love being men, advertisers will love putting it on the end of a hook and reeling them in.


Men Are Crass, Puerile, Arrogant, Slobbish, Insensitive Jackasses

Oh, they really are horrendous. And they love it. A classic ad for British product, "Super Noodles," shows guys being guys. In one ad, two men lick the plates clean then put them back in the cupboard to use again next time. In another, the guys are throwing noodles at a window and commenting on the race as they slide down. They may as well be six years old.

Women, this strategy would probably not work on you (although there has been a recent trend showing the more "crass" side of women's behavior, which the movie Bridesmaids played up to beautifully). But men like to celebrate their immaturity. "So what if we haven't grown up yet? Who cares if we don't cry at movies, and fart during wedding ceremonies? We're the guys, the lads, the good ol' boys who know how to have a good time and don't give a crap who we offend."

And while men love to celebrate this fact, they'll keep buying products that target them in this way. From beer and pizza to deodorant and shampoo, they don't mind buying products that tell them to be childish and proud of it.


Most Men Like Women

Oh my lord, how men like women. Or a certain type of woman anyway, judging by the ads aimed at men by advertisers and marketers around the globe.

For some reason, draping a leggy blonde or brunette over a car makes the appeal of that vehicle go up tenfold. Maybe men think they'll score with a Playboy bunny if they buy the car? 

Sex sells. When it comes to beer, men are bombarded with images of scantily-clad models holding cans of ice-cold lager, laughing at their jokes, finding them irresistible and also incredibly handsome. But it's men who drink the beer, so why do the women have the beer goggles on?

And then there are those ads that portray women who are "tens," chasing nerdy guys and average Joes down the high street because they sprayed something slightly nice smelling under their smelly pits that morning. Yes, that happens.

But for some reason, men look. And they buy. And they buy again.