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Men Buy from Mars, Women Buy from Venus

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"Women! You're leaking, aging, hairy, overweight, and everything hurts. And your children's clothes are filthy. For God's sake, sort yourself out!"
"Men! Shave and get drunk, 'cause you're already brilliant."

Much like Clarke's Law for Girls' Toys presumes that girls are more interested in the fantasy and magic aspect of their toys (instead of the technological aspect) than boys, this trope places similar assumptions on the preferences of adult males and females and markets them accordingly.

As usual, in the world of advertising, there's usually at least some degree of Truth in Television.

If the product is marketed for guys, you'll usually see the men in it:

While if it's marketed to gals, the women in the commercial will usually:

  • Be oversensitive and emotional, sometimes to the point of being needy.
  • Have an unhealthy obsession with clothing.
    • And cleaning products.
    • And shopping. Women love shopping so very much they will get up at 4 a.m. to stand in front of a store to be the first person to get 10% off something (let's just go with the assumption that it's not Black Friday).
  • Have a jackdaw-like irresistible attraction to shiny, sparkly, expensive jewelry.
  • Be stay-at-home moms, or if they work, secretaries, or if they work and are not secretaries, they have a "creative" job and/or work with children.
  • Love fraternizing with each other in a The Breakfast Club sort of way.
  • Have no interest in sex for its own sake, and therefore need to be persuaded into it by men in some way, often by them "proving" themselves worthy by bringing home a chicken sandwich or somesuch — that is, unless it's an ad for a birth control pill. She may be interested in the romance and not the sex (such as wanting to snuggle), or she may see sex as a means of manipulating men. If she actually wants sex, it's purely as a means to the end of becoming mothers. And yes, of course they all want to be mothers! And good ones, too, which is why the product is so important!
  • Always be on a diet, always for cosmetic rather than health reasons. View food in a bizarrely moralistic manner, considering herself "good" for eating healthily (almost invariably yogurt) and "naughty", "decadent", and "sinful" for eating chocolate. Or she's bloated. Watch any television program aimed at women - it will have at least three ads detailing how you can be less 'bloated', either by pills or a drink.
  • Obsessed with appearance, either her own or that of any product (pretty cars rather than fast ones, for example).
  • In 'comedy' ads, the woman is the Closer to Earth Straight Man of the relationship, while the man has all the wacky hijinks. She is also the responsible one with her eye on the ball, often found doing housework or seeing to the kids while dad is goofing off somewhere.
  • Find the best and most important part of a product being that it "shows up the boys", especially if it's a product that might otherwise be marketed primarily to men (alcohol, cars, etc.).
  • Be obsessed with how their hair looks, and the 'dangers' that are presented to it.
    • Likewise, a good shampoo will cause her to dance around, possibly with flying pieces of grapefuit, and an enormous grin.
  • Listen to soft rock and/or pop music. And when it is acknowledged that women also like hard rock bands or artists, they will typically prefer the ballads over the rockers.
  • Be colored with soft shading and light, pastel colors.
  • Be sassy, especially when gossiping with your girlfriends about how clueless the menfolk are.
  • And overwhelmingly, be in the kitchen.

Oh, and let's not forget that all commercials with this trope assume that their characters and anyone else watching are all heterosexual, so don't expect any lesbian or gay stereotypes here, beyond the occasional Pet Homosexual in the women's ads.

Also, anything that is supposed to be marketed to both genders equally will be advertised by men if the people in the ad are supposed to be characters we relate to, and by women if we're just supposed to be looking. In short, unisex products are advertised as if to heterosexual men. One reason for this is that men (and above all young adult men 18-25) are more likely to be influenced by advertising than women of any age, whose brand preferences are more likely to be fixed. Also, according to market research done by Angus Reid, young men are more swayed by emotional appeals in advertising than are older people or women, who tend to be more practical.

Naturally, this leads to many commercials setting up very implausible scenarios to emphasize the stereotype they're appealing to. Sometimes, if more than one gender is present in the commercial, they'll compare and contrast stereotypes, playing off the woman's sensitivity with the man's machismo. Hilarity Ensues.

Compare Sex for Product, which is typically men being told that using a product will get them more sex.


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  • Some Coors commercials have both the woman and her husband waiting for their respective items to "turn blue", but while she is watching a pregnancy test, he is waiting for his beer to get cold; as a final nail to show just how focused on his beer and not his woman the guy is, the ending has him saying that the beer can turned blue "like her eyes", shrugging off his mild surprise when he's told her eyes are actually green. Even more offensive than this commercial is the mere notion that men are so dumb that they need a color-changing bottle to tell that their beer is cold...
  • Most commercials for Mike's Hard Lemonade have some effeminate, sensitive, stereotypically dorky guy (nerd-lisp and all) toting some new product, such as "Mike's hard soy lemonade" or somesuch, and then his masculine supervisor slamming his plans in his face and making fun of him. "In a world gone soft, somebody's gotta be hard". Of course, this could be overcompensation for the fact that Mike's is considered by some men to be a "girly drink".
  • Dairy Queen had an ad with a young woman crying and distraught about the death of her beloved cat. Her boyfriend showed up, and was consoling her [badly] as a pretense to get sips of her frozen latte drink while her arms were around him in the hug.
  • Levi's jeans had a series that gave off the subtext that to a man, a pair of their jeans should be more important than his relationship:
    • A man and a woman are having a dramatic breakup, with the woman throwing the man's clothing and belongings out the window. He picks flowers and shows up at the door with an apologetic expression. She is touched by the simple romantic gesture. But while she's finding a vase to put the flowers in, the guy reveals it was only a ruse to get his favourite pair of Levis that got stuck in a tree on the way down. He walks away with a smug smile as the vase with the flowers hits the ground.
    • A woman is walking down the street wearing a pair of jeans. She is chased up a tree by a vicious dog. The dog yanks at the hem of her jeans until she takes them off. The dog then returns the jeans to his male master, leaving the girl to return home in her underwear. She gives the man in the apartment a dirty look, and he just smirks at her. Heaven only knows why she's wearing his jeans.
    • A man and a woman are sharing a tearful goodbye. He presents her with a pair of jeans, which she clings to, tearfully. He gets on the bus, and shortly after it pulls away, takes off the pants he was wearing to reveal a pair of jeans visually identical to the ones he gave away, implying he loved his jeans too much to part with them... but on the other hand, he must've really liked the woman to go to the trouble of making a new pair of jeans indistinguishable from his favourite pair. A longer version has a brief prologue showing how he inflicted the "battle damage" to a brand-new pair of jeans.
  • Starburst had a particularly disturbing ad. While Lionel Richie's "Hello" played in the background, a young man attempts to show his romantic interest in a woman by having sculpted a bust of her out of Starburst. She is rather weirded out, but then completely freaked as the young man begins eating the face of the bust, complete with suggestive noises.
  • Many men's cologne ads portray women as interested in sex purely as a side-effect of the cologne. Since Hai Karate did it in the 1960s, by TV standards, this makes this approach one of The Oldest Ones In The Book.
  • To say nothing of the way that Axe (Lynx in the UK) is marketed. Which has led to most middle schools reeking of the stuff as every 13-year-old boy thinks that if he douses himself in body spray, women will flock to him like flies to a recently deposited cow pie.
    • Also the "Axe Hair-Crisis Relief", which seems to portray any guy with spiky hair as a complete failure in society. Some of their personalities are never mentioned; when they are, they seem to be rabid. One involved a balloon falling toward a guy's spiky hair at a fairly slow rate, which popped to reveal a girl (who fell on him and pinned him so they could 'fix' his hair). However, this implies that the balloon was filled with helium and a girl... which would mean a random dead girl falling on you out of a large balloon.
    • In Norway, Axe has a yearly contest where contestants submit home-made Axe commercials (the winner will be shown in cinemas). While some of these are (well-made from a technical standpoint) appeals to sex, many of them are parodies. Of special notice was one where a hunter is in the middle of a forest and decided to apply deodorant. Since there are no women around, well...
  • Gillette ads for the five-bladed razor feature athletes like Tiger Woods, heavily implying that using the right razor makes you as awesome as they are.
  • There is an Arby's commercial in which a man and a woman are sharing a romantic moon-lit night by a lake. She suggests "a dip", clearly meaning a dip in the lake. He immediately becomes a moron, jumps off into the truck, and heads off to Arby's for a French dip sandwich... incidentally leaving her frustrated and angry, standing next to the lake.
  • Then there were the series of Radio Shack commercials where Teri Hatcher is so mean to Howie Long that many people thought the two were married. The commercials themselves were the usual "Dumb guy + Snarky Woman = Hijinx".
  • This Hardee's commercial is extremely blatant about it. "Guys don't bake."
  • Radio commercials for the haircare chain Sports Clips imply that half the population (women) lack the genes necessary to get sports. Doubly insulting in that it implies that real men only get their hair cut while watching FOOTBALL!, and that no woman can.
  • "Yorkie: It's not for girls". At first glance it reaches "Silly Rabbit, Trix are for kids!" levels, but when you think about it for a bit, you'll realise how genius this campaign is. Men might think "Manly chocolate, I can eat it and not look like a Manchild"... but women, the real target demographic of chocolate ads, think "Not for girls, eh? I'll show you, Yorkie! Let's see how smug you are when I, a girl, buy your product!" Made all the cleverer by them releasing a (pink-packeted) "Yorkie for girls" version a few months later.
  • To differentiate Coca-Cola Zero from the girly Diet Coke, the commercials were made as manly as possible. One has a guy meet his ex, awkward moment, his pretty new girlfriend shows up, Stuff Blowing Up. Another commercial has a girlfriend breaking up with a guy, awkward moment, strippers dancing suggestive around a pole, Stuff Blowing Up. Yet another has a guy waking up after having sex with a girl, her Boyfriend-Blocking Dad knock on the door, awkward moment, SWAT arrives, Stuff Blowing Up. Incidentally, Coke Zero is Coca-Cola Classic with artificial sweetener, something you think both male and female consumers would be equally interested in (for the unaware, Diet Coke has a totally different taste and formula compared to Classic— namely, it's New Coke).
    • Pepsi Max (known as Diet Pepsi Max until 2009) does the same thing, inferring that men are embarrassed to be seen drinking diet soda ("Do you hide your diet soda inside your giant stuffed moose head when your friends come over—and then stare at the moose head longingly until your friends get weirded out and leave?") Just in case the extra caffeine and ginseng weren't enough to make it "the first diet cola for men" (the latter of which seems odd because anything "herbal" is stereotypically associated with women), it even comes in a black can.
    • In Europe, there was a series of commercials for Coca-Cola Zero that involved a bunch of guys comparing Coke without sugar to "girlfriends without five-year plans" and "bras without the fumbling". See for yourself.
  • A commercial from De Beers' "A Diamond is Forever" campaign, while outwardly romantic, has a bit of a darker side. It shows a couple in what appears to be San Marco, one of the most romantic spots in the world, embracing. The man proclaims love for his woman loudly and bravely, "I LOVE THIS WOMAN!". She tells him to stop because it's embarrassing. He says, "Then maybe this will do," and shows her a ring. She hugs him and says "I love this man, I love this man." This is playing on the whole "Women love shiny things" trope. Because passionate heartfelt sentiment doesn't hold a candle to cold hard ice.
  • The famous "Love Songs" ads for Coors Light.
  • An ad for Bridgestone tires has a guy in his car confronted by some cyberpunky-looking evil types, who make the demand of "Your Bridgestone tires or your life." Instead, a woman gets chucked out of the car and the car screeches off with a cheery farewell honk, prompting a scandalized "I said life, not wife!" The comedy is a case of mishearing the threat, but you can't help but think of the alternative: the guy just threw his significant other to pirates who could do God knows what to her to save his tires.
  • Miller Light ads have been taking this to a new level of blatancy of exploiting male insecurities. One ad shows a guy ordering light beer from an attractive female bartender. She asks what kind, he says "Doesn't matter." She replies something like "Take off your skirt and I'll bring it to you" and it pans out that he's actually wearing a skirt, and even says so in the voiceover something like "Man up to Miller Light!" Other Miller ads have been amping up the blatant sexism too.
  • A New Zealand dairy has come out with a "manly" yogurt for tough guys. Because only women eat yogurt, and a secure man would naturally be fatally threatened by a brand of yogurt that wasn't "manly".
  • Some "What Would You Do for a Klondike Bar?" ads have been aimed at men who have to endure five seconds of horrible things like women talking, putting away dishes, and holding another man's hand.
  • A State Farm commercial features a bunch of men who have saved on their insurance, and thus splurged on completely ridiculous items, the primary being the goofy, giggling man who has bought a falcon. A parade of mostly unintelligent-looking men with other frivolous purchases walk by, whimpering "I could have bought a falcon!" Each man is accompanied by his exasperated, eye-rolling wife.
  • A Carl's Jr. ad campaign in the 1990s featured a young adult man staring helplessly at a pound of raw hamburger in a grocery store, poking at it as though it were a space alien. Then the closing voice-over: "Carl's Jr. Without us, some guys would starve."
  • That commercial for "Dr. Pepper 10," a version of Dr. Pepper with 10 "manly" calories, is extremely blatant about its message: "IT'S NOT FOR WOMEN!!" Implying that women should only drink the regular diet Dr. Pepper. These commercials are a clear example of Testosterone Poisoning, what with all the Jeep-driving and explosions, but the intended comedic effect is lessened by the fact that the "joke" really has no context and makes no sense.
  • Burger King ran this into the ground so hard with the choice to focus all their advertising and new product choices on the 20-something male demographic that it is suspected to be the cause of a sales drop. They were sued by their own franchisees over the decision to make the restaurant chain "Mars" and alienating kids and less-meat obsessed and more calorie conscious folks.
  • Electronic Arts ran an infamous ad for Dead Space 2 featuring middle-aged women being horrified by the level of violence in the game, saying "Your mom hates it." While Most Gamers Are Male is never mentioned, it's implied that a large demographic would be willing to spend sixty dollars just to shock their aged mothers.

  • International Coffee: "That cafe! That waiter! Jean-Luc!" (Who, sadly, was not Jean-Luc Picard.)
  • "Open! Open! Open!" was the catch phrase for a bunch of Mervyn's commercials, which featured women rhapsodizing about all the shopping they could do once the store had opened. Camera pulls back to reveal that dawn is barely breaking. The shopping-obsessed women are waiting around for the store to open! Sometimes wearing bathrobes or PJs, because stopping to dress might cut into their waiting-for-the-store-to-open time! Candi Milo was in one of these before her voice acting career took off.
  • Procter & Gamble's Secret deodorant: "Strong Enough for a Man, Made for a Woman."
  • The Tostito's commercial with a bunch of women making up their own gossip about their kids whom they're using a "play date" as an excuse to get together. The camera then switches to the kids... who are all infants. The moms just came for the chips.
  • In general, yogurt is stereotyped as a diet food that only women eat. In this Yoplait commercial, two sassy single women at a spa recall womanly pleasures that remind them of just how good their yogurt is.
  • As a broad generalization, in commercials, men lose weight by exercising—or, in the case of SlimQuick ads, by simply drinking water instead of soda. Women lose weight through pills, SlimFast, and eating only lowfat or fatfree foods.
  • The vast majority of home security ads as of late play out as follows: A woman alone or with children is at home when scary looking man loudly breaks in. Alarm sounds. Scary man runs away. Scared woman gets soothing phone call from handsome and therefore non-scary male security company employee. At least one of the commercials showed the scary looking man lurking around the house and glaring menacingly through the windows before breaking in, making it abundantly clear that he knew there was someone in the house, but wasn't concerned because it was "just a woman." The vast majority of home break-ins happen in the middle of the day, when the crook is pretty sure no one is home, often trying to surreptitiously watch the house to make sure there's no movement - a burglary charge is usually less than a robbery charge (the difference is whether you just steal something, or actively threaten someone in person to make them give you something).
  • Any cleaning product, cooking recipe, weight loss or childcare commercial. Rarely, if ever is there a commercial for a cleaning product where it's the man who's cleaning up, or the little brats shown making the mess in the first place.
    • One Swiffer duster commercial that had a man cleaning...but he was a CSI cleaning up at a crime scene. Another ad for Swiffer steam boost featuring men cleaning... but they're soldiers mopping up their barracks for inspection.
    • One ad for Cif cleaning product manage to play this straight while probably trying to seem women-empowering. After the death of a King, it is decided that the one who manages to clean a particularly tarnished cauldron will be his successor. Many try in vain, until the day a mysterious knight comes in and manages to clean the cauldron and even the most stubborn stains everywhere in the castle, using the new Cif product. As thanks, the Knight is crowned... Queen of the kingdom. Having the saviour knight be a woman is a nice idea in many cases, but they're doing it in the one context where it isnít.
  • In 2009 Dell Computers introduced, a website designed to sell laptops to women. Apparently, Dell assumed that women aren't interested in (or won't understand) all those scary hard numbers that let rational male buyers choose the laptop that best suits their needs. No, women are only interested in how cute the computer is, since they're only going to be using it for shopping, diet tips, and watching cooking videos. For some reason, women in the real world didn't embrace the website with undiluted enthusiasm.
  • Bic apparently saw the need to release a line of pens aimed at women, complete with an "elegant design - just for her" and a "thin barrel to fit a women's [sic] hand". Cue a whole bunch of hilariously sarcastic reviews on the product's Amazon page.
  • Women's cigarettes. Brands like Virginia Slims ("You've come a long way, baby!") and Saratoga were aimed at female smokers. They were "feminine" in that they were more slender than the normal (presumably manly) cigarettes. Steve Martin once quipped, "This is a Virginia Slim I'm smoking. They're supposed to be women's cigarettes. What do they have, little breasts on 'em or something?" More recent women's cigarette brands, such as Camel No. 9, instead feature pink flowers on the box.
    • Silk Cut fags in the UK. Marketed with photos of the elegantly-designed pack reclining on a bed of blue or purple silk arranged just so. Something about the advertising hinted it wasn't directed at straight men.note 
  • In Special K ads, women resist the urge to eat a piece of candy or a slice of cake, choosing instead to eat Special K cereal. If Kellogg's is to be believed, one little sweet can ruin an entire day of otherwise healthy eating.

  • A Heineken commercial shows a party scene. The hostess brings her girl friends to a back room and shows off a walk-in closet full of designer shoes and clothes. The women squeal and bounce with joy, when suddenly the sound of yelling men is heard. The camera pans to show a walk-in fridge filled with Heineken beer, with the men reacting exactly like the women: squealing and bouncing with joy. Notable for hitting both the "men love beer!" and the "women love clothes!" notes while only actually advertising one of the above products.
  • The Burger King "I Am Man" series of commercials shows guys doing stereotypically "macho" things (at one point someone tows a truck with his teeth), while praising the utter masculinity of a hamburger to the tune of Helen Reddy's "I Am Woman". At one point a character tosses aside a plate of nouvelle cuisine, decrying it as "chick food".
  • Sony did a commercial for its Bravia line of televisions, advertising the Bravia as "the world's first television for men and women". The advertising campaign was based entirely on the idea that men cared only, and only men cared, how well a TV worked and how good its "awesome HD picture" was. Only women cared, and women cared only, that it looked "really stylish on the wall".
  • A set of wine ads targeted at women displayed them sitting about together sipping wine, while nearby men humiliated themselves in various ways to try and "earn" a glass of it. The women would laugh and roll their eyes at each attempt, shrugging off the idea that it "deserved" a glass of Arbor Mist, until the men either did something so ridiculously impressive or hurt themselves, at which point the women would grudgingly concede that just maybe they'd allow the men to have some.
  • Some ads for the Chase Sapphire credit card in the US emphasize that you can "use your points for anything" by having the husband asking his wife what she thinks of using their points for a vacation for the two of them, only to have it revealed that she's already spent them—on a not particularly attractive dress. Would be an aversion (letting the husband be responsible for once) if she hadn't spent the money on a dress, but, really, who could blame the silly little thing for something like that, she just can't help herself.
  • There's a series of commercials for Captain Morgan's spiced rum wherein men use (false) sensitivity (e.g. walking puppies that are being handed out for just this sort of thing) to trick women into lavishing attention on the men. And then the men celebrate outsmarting these caricatures of women by drinking said rum.
  • This Cracked article notes the bizarre assumption that not only do men not eat yogurt, they can't even perceive its existence.
  • Subverted in a Jif commercial. For years, it's been "Choosy Moms Choose Jif." Someone must've done market research, and discovered a target group of single dads raising children, because one had a dad building his daughter a treehouse, making it "Choosy Moms (And Dads) Choose Jif". But, in some ways, this is also played straight, as it's the daughter who makes the sandwich and the dad who builds the treehouse.
  • In general, if it's Mother's Day, stores will advertise "great deals" (or phrasing to that effect) on clothing and jewelry, you know, things women are supposed to like. If it's Father's Day they advertise those same "great deals" on flat screen TVs, outdoor grills, and other things men are supposed to like. Whenever it's the holidays, women purchase a high-tech gift for their husbands, and toward the end of the commercials look toward the jewelry counter lustfully, as if to imply all women love shiny things.
  • The Five Hour Energy commercials. One commercial shows a man getting up at 6am and he is tired, and doesn't want to get out of bed. But he has to because he has an important meeting at work. So he takes the product and he's bouncing out the door to the big, important meeting. Now the one with the woman shows her hitting the snooze button at 6:30 am and whining about how she doesn't want to get up to EXERCISE. When she does get out of bed, she's looking in the mirror and complaining about how fat she is (she really isn't) and how she needs to exercise. She takes the product and at the end of the commercial, she is on the treadmill.
  • The old Herbal Essences shampoo commercials that would feature women shouting as if in orgasm when shampooing with Herbal Essences because it was just so good for their hair. This winds up in the "both" category because not only was the campaign built on the idea that women would achieve orgasm over hair care, at least one featured a smug-looking woman handing her husband a bottle of the shampoo as he went into the bathroom. Almost instantly cue a single "YES!", and the woman rolling her eyes and smirking even bigger than before.
  • One State Farm commericial has two parents talking to their son, who has recently graduated from high school. With the help of the State Farm agent, the mom changes her son's room into a walk in closet with lots of shoes, getting a pink dress in the process. The dad (played by Scrubs' John McGinly) changes it into a dojo and immediately chops a board in half while wearing a black karate uniform. The couple then decide on a sauna, completely unaware that their son is uncomfortable with the situation ("I just graduated...")
  • In general, a major difference between commercials where a lot of bad or aggravating things happen to the "main character" is that most often if bad things happen to women, it should be an excuse for them to do something nice for themselves (relax with a food product, take a vacation, go to a store she'd enjoy), but if it's a man, there's something wrong in his life that he needs to fix. Not necessarily his own fault, but his suffering is the sign of a greater onus (he's driving the wrong car, he needs to make smarter decisions, he needs to watch his health). Women get to make themselves feel better for things beyond their control, men need to fix their lives.
  • The commercials for the Shake Weight are this trope in a nutshell. Observe: the ad for men versus the ad for women. Men, bulk up and get strong! Women, lose weight and get pretty!
  • Few things are more cloyingly stereotypical than jewelry commercials — particularly those for engagement rings — but this one from Kay Jewelers takes the cake. Forget Women Are Wiser and Men Can't Keep House; this one goes back to old-school gender stereotypes. Sorry ladies, you're fragile and terrified of everything, but your big strong man will protect you (from a thunderstorm — somehow) and buy you expensive things. As one commentator on Bitch Magazine's web article on the ad pointed out:
    An adult who is frightened by thunder belongs in a Regency romance. She doesn't need diamonds; she needs someone to loosen her stays, waft smelling salts under her nose, and ring the parlourmaid to bring a soothing tisane.

  • A December 2007 ad for frozen crock pot meals. A woman is in the yard, dancing. The captions say "She just scored a touchdown while cooking dinner." Playing football in the yard is usually the province of "for the man" products. Though, of course, the cooking connection is stereotypically female.
  • An old Labatt Blue commercial features the mascot bear out on a date with a gorgeous brunette. He presents her with an awkwardly-shaped gift and she eagerly unwraps it to reveal...a Pez-dispenser type device dispensing large cans of beer. She is delighted!
  • Diamond and other jewellery ads are notorious for subverting the "men are clueless about what women want". All the men in diamond commercials are sensitive, romantic, attentive, and like ballroom dancing. Then again, in those ads, the only thing women want is shiny sparkly glittery stuff.
  • A Best Buy ad features (amongst other people) a couple on a couch with a widescreen TV. The woman promises "to only watch football on Sunday"... adding "and Monday" and other days as the commercial goes on, until she's covered every day that football typically airs on. Heck, all Best Buy ads are commendably non-stereotypical, showing that women can get just as excited about technology and be just as knowledgeable about it as men can. In fact, there was a deliberate shift in corporate attitudes at Best Buy that accounts for this. It worked.
  • The NFL used to air a commercial where a woman dressed to the nines in New York Giants gear greets her fellow female Giants fans with high-fives and cheers. When the last girl appears wearing (rival) Jets gear, they greet each other coldly and a screeching cat sound is heard.
  • All household paint commercials show both men and women getting involved with their own painting projects, which used to be thought of as something only men would get involved with. Though there have been various commercials involving household paint where the long-suffering woman has to put up with a husband who's such an enormous idiot that he not only doesn't know the names for thirty-two slightly different shades of purple, but he can't even tell some of them apart!
  • A Meineke commercial shows a woman standing right next to a male mechanic, but the woman is shown being knowledgeable enough of the underworkings of vehicles that she's easily able to answer what she'd prefer the mechanic use as he's working on her vehicle.
    • Extending this, a Walmart commercial advertises that these days, everyone's changing their own oil at home, and men and women are shown getting into the oil changing projects as couples. (Just in case you're wondering, these commercials always indicate that you can take in your old oil to be recycled at any Walmart auto/tire service department.)
  • This Diet Coke ad zig-zags the trope back and forth: the women are secretaries, but the whole thing is set up as an inversion of the "guys lusting after eyecandy girl" type of ads. On the other hand, using the product might make the man (more) attractive to women ...
    • Following upon the much more discussed commercial for the same product with Lucky Vanous as a shirt-doffing construction worker in 1994, available here.

  • The protagonist of Margaret Atwood's first novel, The Edible Woman, works for an advertising agency. Near the beginning of the book she's doing a survey of what men think of the ad for Moose Beer, which is rife with masculine images of hunting, fishing and "just plain old fashioned relaxing". The protagonist notes that this manages to make sitting on the couch slurping down a beer seem manly and strong.
  • CollegeHumor:
  • Similarly, Mandles! Candles in manly scents, like pigskin and bacon cheeseburger!
    • In Real Life, Yankee Candle, the leading maker of scented candles, has brought this concept to reality with its "Man Candles" line: First Down, 2X4 (wood), Riding Mower (a revival of the old Green Grass scent with a manlier moniker), Man Town, Movie Night (popcorn) and even MMM, Bacon! They also offer "Collegiate Collection" candles with college logos and matching colors — the scents are actually previously-established, mostly fruit-based ones, just with "manlier" packaging.
  • That Mitchell and Webb Look's take on ads aimed at women and men.
    Narrator: Women: you're leaking, ageing, hairy, overweight, and everything hurts. And your childrens' clothes are filthy. For God's sake, sort yourself out. Men: Shave and get drunk. 'Cause you're already brilliant.
  • Saturday Night Live commercial Chess For Girls
  • In The Simpsons, Homer accidentally buys an "F-series" Canyonero SUV, which has a lipstick holder in place of the cigarette lighter.
    • The real parody is the Canyonero commercial, which is everything on the "targeted to men" list, including Hank Williams Jr. belting out the jingle.
      Twelve yards long and two lanes wide, It's sixty-five tons of American pride, Canyonero!
  • Family Guy did a parody of the diamond "silhouette" commercials which was pretty typical up until the male silhouette produced the ring and the female silhouette started to get on her knees in front of him. The tagline was "She'll pretty much have to." Which is pretty much the message de Beers wished they could get away with in the originals.
  • Old Spice:
    • This "Man Your Man Could Smell Like" ad campaign takes the classic hyper-manliness of men's-products-advertised-to-women, and turns it on its head, to hilarious effect.
    • Similarly, the Old Spice Odor Blocker commercials featuring Terry Crews. Much like Brawndo, they emphasize how POWERFUL, and therefore manly, Old Spice is. Given more emphasis when one commercial actually hijacked another ad for Bounce.
      Terry: You smell like spring time freshness!
      Female host: You smell like pow-
      Terry: YEAH I DO!
    • The original Old Spice Guy, Isaiah Mustafa, was the exact opposite, being the Sensitive Guy to Crews' Manly Man, with detailed descriptions of wonderful dates in exotic locations and everything your man could do for you if he used Old Spice and not a "lady-scented body wash".
    • Then they combined the two, with Mustafa and Crews battling for attention. Then Mustafa brings out the horse.
    • An older Old Spice commercial features Bruce Campbell in a role similar to Mustafa, as a cultured man.
  • Sarah Haskins's "Target Women" series on Infomania was entirely about how stupid advertising for women is — everything from the amount of emotion we're supposed to expend on cleaning products to the way birth control pills are marketed as a way to make your period lighter so no one has to acknowledge women wanting to have sex but not babies.
  • The second series of Look Around You featured the Petticoat 5 computer, designed specifically for women. It features extra-long keys to accommodate long fingernails, a ring holder, a tissue dispenser, a mirror, a nail file, and a perfume dispenser, the latter of which is activated by the 'S' key.
  • This has been discussed on QI, with Stephen Fry and David Mitchell saying in one episode that if commercials are true, "the standard of female conversation must be plummeting," since so many ads feature women sitting around telling each other about their problems with bloating and constipation. Another time, Sean Lock pointed out that although there is now moisturizer for men, the makers feel the need to call it "face protector" — "like it's stopping bullets hitting your face."
  • A similar point was made by Jeremy Hardy in The News Quiz, saying that cosmetics companies think men will only buy moisturiser if it's called "all-weather sealant" or something.
  • Brut did a Take That! to Axe/Lynx's ads with a man implied to be using one of such colognes. It was strong enough to turn a bunch of tough bikers into Hard Gays.
    • Beautifully parodied in The Sarah Jane Adventures, when a similar fake brand of body cologne was used to repel aliens because it was just that gross.
    • Nivea did another Take That! that mocked the Axe commercials, showing the only people taken in by their reeking stuff to be Straw Loser high school kids and fat creeps. Then of course it had the standard well-toned manly man using "a body wash for grown-ups".
    • Also parodied quite nicely by Clare Grant and Rileah Vanderbilt who produced (and starred in) a trilogy of faux commercials for Saber body spray.

  • A December 2007 Lexus ad. A woman answers the phone and you hear her husband apologetically tell her that he's stuck at work and will be unable to pick up their son from practice. The woman, exasperated, sighs, "you promised!" and hangs up on him when he tries to say he's sorry. The shot changes to outside, where the father looks at the phone and says "She hung up on me." The shot pulls back to reveal father and son standing beside a Lexus wrapped in a bow. The shot changes to the mother stalking out to get the kids from practice and stopping cold as she sees what's in the driveway. "Just a little somethin'," the husband says, bashfully. He's not insensitive or clueless, but she thought he was!
  • There was a Mercury car ad where two guys were discussing how much you can tell about someone from their cars. He walks up to this muscle car and says that whoever owns it is "Da Man!" Cue woman walking up, getting in, and driving away.
  • Irish comedian Dara O'Briain makes a point about this in his show 'Talks Funny', regarding the ClearBlu Pregnancy Test. He says that the dynamic voice-over and flashy effects are ideal for attracting male buyers to a female-orientated product, as peeing on things is "the Holy Grail" of technology as far as men are concerned. In turn, he says that this is because men are marketed to as though they were "autistic 12 year old boys" who wish that all of life's major decisions could be confirmed by peeing on things.
  • A commercial for a satellite service: a man is proposing to a woman. (Paraphrased)
    Man: We both like the same things - you like sports, I like sports.
    Woman: What do you mean? I don't like sports.
    Man: But you've got the [name of product], which shows all the sports you'd ever want to see.
    Woman: Oh, actually I got it for all the cooking shows and whatnot. I never watch sports.
    cut to man driving away in his convertible
    Man: I'll call you.
    • The subversion comes after that, where we see her in a football jersey holding a tub of popcorn cheering her favorite team on. She did like sports, she just didn't want to marry the guy.
  • There is an NHL commercial for the Florida Panthers that shows a couple of guys ogling a gorgeous woman on roller skates. She then skates up to another woman and throws her to the ground with a nice body check. "Must be a Panthers fan"
    • "Clean hit."
  • Subverted in a Citibank commercial where a woman is talking about what she can by with her credit card reward points. She talks about buying new clothes and shoes, but as she is doing this it is shown that all these things are rock climbing equipment, which she is then shown using.
  • An ad for Dr. Pepper Ten starts out with a generic action movie scene, then the hero tells the women that this is not for them, as it's a man's diet drink. Here, they're obviously trying to tap into the market of guys who associate any sort of diet products with "woman-stuff," which is more common of a fallacy than you might think.

    Double Subversions 
  • A beer ad for a Coors packaging innovation, where the cans have a wider mouth or "vent" to allow more beer to pour out faster. A man receives a call from a friend, and says he wants to go over—his friend really needs to "vent". Pleased with his sensitivity, she tells him to go ahead. Arriving, the two guys grin and say, "Let's vent!", holding up a case of the new beer.

Alternative Title(s): Gender Based Marketing, Men Buy From Mars, Women Buy From Venus