Is OFF! Creating Packaging Based on Gender?

Sociological Images: Seeing Is Believing has an interesting post showing two different versions of OFF! mosquito repellent packaging.

In the top example, the mostly blue package includes a male figure fishing and logos for hunting, camping, and fishing. In the bottom one, the mostly orange package includes a female figure, perhaps on a walk.

Off 

Off woman

The comments are especially interesting.  A lot of the women take offense to the stereotyping.

One commenter makes a wonderful observation about the look of the actual product:

and, more importantly, who would want to wear something that looks like a big plastic air freshener on their beltloop?

I think our commenter is on to something.  It's not just the package design, but the product design that you need to pay attention to. 

I'd love to know if the makers of OFF! did any testing and if they found one version sold better than the other based on the consumer's gender.

What do you think?  Smart idea to try to create packaging that speaks to each gender?  Or, a case of stereotyping gone amuck?

Thanks to Andrea Learned for tweeting about this.

 

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5 Responses to Is OFF! Creating Packaging Based on Gender?

  1. Laura says:

    What I find interesting is the decision to pay for separate packaging and track separate inventory.
    I wonder if the “mens” version is sold at Bass Pro Shops and the “womens” version is sold at Target. Or are they sold in separate departments of Target (sporting goods and toiletries)?
    I’d love to see the sales figures for each to see if it works.
    As a business owners I’m more interested in results than whether or not someone finds the packaging too “gendered”.

  2. The product stinks like hell. I wouldn’t buy it no matter how it was packaged. You’re better off erecting a bat house in your yard.

  3. This is an interesting post. I agree that Off smells too strong for me to want to wear it. If they could add some strawberry to it and pretty up the scent, I’d be much more apt to buy it than if it’s in a more feminine package.
    It’s a case of knowing what your market wants and giving it to them. I wonder if they did polls/surveys on this?

  4. Holly Buchanan says:

    Sounds like OFF needs to focus on more than just packaging for women. I agree scent/smell is important.
    What do you say OFF? Any way to improve the smell but still keep the mosquitos away?

  5. What I find interesting is the decision to pay for separate packaging and track separate inventory.
    I wonder if the “mens” version is sold at Bass Pro Shops and the “womens” version is sold at Target. Or are they sold in separate departments of Target (sporting goods and toiletries)?
    I’d love to see the sales figures for each to see if it works.
    As a business owners I’m more interested in results than whether or not someone finds the packaging too “gendered”.

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