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“Sorry Ma’am, we don’t have that mobile in pink colour”, replied the salesman with a smile The women smiled back. “Thank God, but can I talk to your manager to have these BLACK coloured mobile with 6.3″ display with a screen resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels and an Octacore and..” as she rattled the specifications and salesman looked at her in amazement.

Wake up to the new age Indian woman. Today’s modern female audience is savvy, smart, ambitious(Priyanka Chopra fell in love with Nick Jonas because he liked the drive in her). She even purchases traditional “male” products, such as automobiles, home improvement products, and consumer electronics or helps her husband/father/brother zero on.

Producers, Advertisers Why Cheat Women? Move beyond stereotypes and outdated assumptions like men are domestically challenged, senior citizen doesn’t know the internet, and women choose by vanityMaking a product cute, pink or shiny does not automatically make it for women. Re-colouring a package may have worked earlier when society and indeed, women conformed to patriarchy, but today it doesn’t hold water.

When it comes to women in advertising, women are either sex objects or homemaker or working women balancing work, children home. The portrayal of mothers in advertising is thankfully changing. Mothers with big red bindi and sindoor talking about how to keep the child’s T-shirt clean while buying vegetables is passe. Now we have mothers who wear pants(literally!)  in the housekeeping clothes clean, ordering vegetables online and mother in track pant racing with a child to prepare him. This video shows how Indian advertisers see women in India?

Additionally, marketers just love to associate women with the colour pink. But according to a 2003 survey by Joe Hallock, Pink is not even the favourite colour of women. Men’s and women’s favourite colour was actually blue. Women’s second-most favourite colour was purple. So marketers don’t pander her by outdated patronizing marketing tactics. This video from Vox shows how Pink became the women’s colour.

Marketers in West have tried pink-ing the product and have received more than a pinkie…a big thumbs down

Dell fell into the classic “make it pink” mindset it launch of its Della website in 2009 which emphasized colours, computer accessories, and tips for counting calories and finding recipes. It created an uproar among women, who described it as condescending “slick but disconcerting”. Dell was forced to change it 2 weeks.

In 2011 pink beer was unveiled by Molson Coors in UK, LG unveiled bubblegum pink phones. And they all failed.  In 2018 Diageo’s Jane Walker brand launch fell flat with female consumers!

Women, just like men, research, prioritize product functionality, price, and warranties, they ask friends and family for recommendations. So looks come behind making functionality and making a statement and many times is near the bottom of the list. Something I hope clothes companies would keep in mind before putting useless pockets on pants for women.

It’s time for eve-olution  It’s coming…it’s unstoppable…There’s no point hiding it anymore. Brands need to focus more on the needs of target markets which just happens to be women and less on the general idea of a woman customer. Pink is not a substance, cuteness is not a product feature and it certainly isn’t a marketing strategy. Aaj Lalitaji kehti hain ke Pink color na rakhne mein hi samajhdaari hai.

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Debates backed by data offer insights that can find solutions for the prevailing issues. I strongly feel that there should be more platforms like Economic Times Women’s Forum which not only highlight issues but also help in finding out the possible solutions. Explore the rich culture of the forum on its website www.etwomensforum.com. They also have a nomination drive running on their social media platforms where you can nominate the inspirational women in your life and turn their stories into legend. To view the ET Woman’s Forum from the lens of the new age woman you can follow their Instagram handle. Champion the cause of empowerment by taking part in the forum debates on their social media platforms.

I am definitely joining in the interesting conversations, hope to see you there as well.

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