Getting gender right holds tremendous opportunity for Indian marketers to unlock growth

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital
Published : March 15, 2019 03:21 PM
58% ads on air target women exclusively, and only 35% target both genders. The new Kantar AdReaction report talks about gender targeting and portrayal in advertising

Marketers are reinforcing rather than helping to eradicate harmful gender-based stereotypes. That's according to the latest AdReaction report released by Kantar. It reveals disconnect between consumer and business opinions of gender portrayals in advertising. While the clear majority of marketers globally (more than 75%) think they are avoiding gender stereotypes, 76% of female consumers and 71 % of male consumers believe that the way they're portrayed in advertising is completely out of touch. This is how marketers in India are missing potential opportunities to reach out to men in the categories where both genders are equal decision makers.

The latest AdReaction report from Kantar includes analysis on advertising creativity and media effectiveness both globally and in India. The latest edition is based on a comprehensive analysis of how women and men are portrayed in ads, and how they respond differently to marketing. The report aims to guide marketers on their gender progress journey and help brands grow, by Getting Gender Right.

Commenting on the study findings, Vishikh Talwar- managing director- Kantar Millward Brown, South Asia, said: "Gender is a sensitive topic - one that society is currently renegotiating across social, cultural, political and commercial spheres. The India leg of the survey comes at a very pertinent time as the subject of gender portrayal has gained immense importance both globally and closer to home. 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 Gender targeting should not be an either/ or decision and we need to challenge these outdated assumptions.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"

Key Highlights:

1. Globally, gender-balanced brands drive greater brand value while brands that skew towards men tend to underperform and are valued on average US$9bn less. Only one in three brands achieve this balance in India.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Good ads work well with both genders. New information has the highest receptivity in India, more than 50% men and women become more positive towards the ads that have new information. This is closely followed by humour which has a critical role to play in improving the ad receptivity with both genders.

5. Breaking stereotypes helps. Female players in sports ads are loved by women audiences and it also surprises men; generating increased engagement.

The 'AdReaction: Getting Gender Right' study can be found at along with details of supporting webinars which will explore the study findings.

ALSO READ: Advertising plays a huge role in shaping kids' preferences: Kantar IMRB, KidScan Report

The report includes analysis of 30,000 ads, survey responses of 450 global marketers, consumer advertising attitudes among almost 40,000 consumers, and brand equity analysis of over 9,000 global brands to create an in-depth understanding of the role of gender in advertising.

AdReaction studies have been conducted since 2001, delivering insights on consumers' perceptions of advertising, particularly digital formats. Other recent studies include:

AdReaction: The Art Of Integration: A comprehensive exploration of how to maximise the brand impact of multichannel marketing campaigns

AdReaction: Engaging Gen X, Y & Z: A global study revealing Gen Z's behaviours, attitudes and responses to advertising to help marketers effectively engage them.

For feedback/comments, please write to


Sign up with your email address to receive news and updates

We respect your privacy.

© 2019 afaqs!