Bridget Jones Diary, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, Diary of Anne Frank, the Princess Diaries, The Nanny Diaries….look at the most successful books, films and TV shows aimed at women and you'll see "diary" all over the place.
What is it about women and diaries? And what does this have to do with marketing to women?
If you want women to watch your ads, get her attention by having a woman writing in her diary.
The Excelon Patch has a powerful TV commercial featuring a woman writing in her diary about her mother, who has mild Alzheimer's Disease. You can see her actually writing in her diary.
This technique is repeated on the Excelon Patch website home page – you see a photo journal of the woman and her mother.
Handwriting appears over individual pictures as if she's writing the caption right in front of you.
Women can not look away. Women place a high value on relationships and on being empathetic – aka, understanding what other people are thinking and feeling. Having this direct insight into what a person is thinking is irresistible.
What are you writing/saying? I want to know!
Other ads use the technique of "watching someone write something" to get the veiwer's attention.
John Hancock TV spots - the entire commercials are text/IM messages between two people. Tell me you don't read every word every time.
The UPS Whiteboard combines watching someone draw and write on a whiteboard. Same thing, you simply cannot turn away.
The Secret DVD introduces new chapters by having an old-fashioned typewriter type the words out on a piece of parchment.
There's just something about watching someone write/type/text/draw that captures our attention. We want to know what that person is saying/thinking/feeling.
Involving the senses
The other reason why this technique is so effective is the sound of the writing/typing/drawing/texting.
In the John Hancock ads, the only sound is the clickity clickity of the keyboard typing.
In the UPS Whiteboard ads, it's the squeaky contact between the marker and the board.
With the typewriter in The Secret DVD, it's the sharp clack clack of the typewriter letters smacking the parchment.
These audio sensory cues are a powerful way to involve your senses.
When you're marketing to women, use the technique of having a woman, or whoever your main character is, writing in something that looks like a diary. Be sure to include the sound of the pencil scratching the paper surface. Or, take it high tech and have her typing something on a keyboard.
It's a powerful way to get her engaged in your marketing message, whether it's a TV commercial or a website.