Who is today’s man? Strategy event deciphers what men want

The men's personal care category is now a $13.5 billion-dollar market and growing at a pace double that of women's, so it's no surprise that advertisers today want to tap into what makes a man tick. Yesterday's strategy magazine event, 'Understanding Men: Metro vs. Retro' attempted to decipher that through a new survey by ad shop Leo Burnett Canada. The study, entitled 'Metros Versus Retros: Are Marketers Missing Real Men?' polled more than

The men’s personal care category is now a $13.5 billion-dollar market and growing at a pace double that of women’s, so it’s no surprise that advertisers today want to tap into what makes a man tick. Yesterday’s strategy magazine event, ‘Understanding Men: Metro vs. Retro’ attempted to decipher that through a new survey by ad shop Leo Burnett Canada. The study, entitled ‘Metros Versus Retros: Are Marketers Missing Real Men?’ polled more than 2,500 men in 14 countries and followed the agency’s 2004 study on advertising to women entitled ‘LeoShe – Playing House.’

The study finds that most men don’t find themselves fitting into either the metrosexual or retrosexual mould, as typified by ‘metro’-type soccer star David Beckham (22% of Canuck men identify with this and interestingly, of that number, there are more in Quebec); and Vince Vaughn’s Wedding Crashers ‘retrosexual’ persona (of which 18% in Canada raised their hand). But this comprises less than half the men out there.

Instead, men see themselves as either the power-suited, ‘power-seeker’ type (at 27%), typified by Big (played by Chris Noth on Sex & the City) or the ‘patriarch’ type, for which family comes first, as typified by character Sandy Cohen on The O.C. Seems patriarchs make up the largest group in Canada, at 33%, and this group is also the largest globally.

Other study highlights include:

*Today, over half of Canadian men in their late 20s are single, versus stats in the 1970′s when only one in five men were

* Only 6.5% of men feel a woman’s place is in the home; 11% of Quebecois men agree with this versus 4% in the rest of Canada

* 65% feel boys should cook

* 43% admire men who are interested in housework

* 87% of Canadian men felt men should work less and spend more time with the family

* The five drivers of male adaptation were found to be: to hold on to power; to maintain a role in the family; to keep their jobs; to indulge themselves; and to be attractive to women

Seems men aren’t so simple after all. As such, presenters of the study Leo Burnett’s Jason Oke, senior account planner and Lance Saunders, SVP, managing partner, planning, warned against trying to market to men one dimensionally and encouraged marketers to embrace the complexity of a man. Some recommendations that came out of the study include:

* Anticipate male adaptation. In Canada, the metro versus retro debate is an overblown point. Real adaptation is around guys resolving their patriarch/power-seeker needs.

* Stand by your man. Develop deeper brand relationships by figuring out how men are adapting and where he is in his life.

* Let primal man out to play. ‘Re-masculate’ your brand. Poker, video games, and locker room humour encourage this. In one example, Leo client sports station, The Score has a campaign that depicts men’s decision between a hot chick and watching sports. ‘Don’t be afraid to be un-PC,’ says Oke.

* Stop looking in the mirror. Instead, look ahead and anticipate.

John Bradley, strategy columnist and marketing consultant, echoed the idea of not slotting men into simple categories during the final panel discussion, called In Search of the Real Canadian Man: Marketing Hits and Misses. He suggested that most men fit into all categories, not only during his lifetime, but even throughout the course of a single day. The marketer that gets that, he suggests, will truly tap into the growing market.

http://www.strategymag.com/understandingmen