What You Can Learn About Marketing to Women From The Golden Globes

Golden globes Tina Fey Amy Poehler

Ok, I just gotta say it – to Tina Fey and Amy Poehler – WOOOOOOOT!

I am not one to sit through a whole awards show, but I did not want to miss a minute of the Golden Globe Awards last night hosted by the dynamic duo of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.  I can't remember the last time I laughed out loud like that.  

As Today pointed out, it was an historic event.

Somewhere in the mists of time, two women may have emceed a major awards presentation. But we're pretty certain that as hosts of the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are setting a new historical precedent. If nothing else, they're the funniest women to ever host a major awards show.

I hope all you marketers were watching the show and paying attention.  There were several interesting moments and themes around women that were extremely insightful.

What marketers can learn about women from the Golden Globes

Marketing to women lesson  #1 – Women love humor, especially when it rings "true" to their experience and involves solidarity. What a difference between Golden Globe host Ricky Gervais and Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.  I found it hard to sit through the sharp attacks of Ricky Gervais.  Tina and Amy found a way to be edgy and funny without resorting to put-down humor, with one exception – the reference to James Cameron. Here's what Today had to say about that one:

But the pair scored their first real "did they say that?" zinger when Poehler referred to nominee Kathryn Bigelow's nomination: "I haven't really been following the controversy over 'Zero Dark Thirty,' but when it comes to torture, I trust the lady who spent three years married to James Cameron."'

Ok, that is put-down humor, but it's also solidarity humor – which is something women are drawn to.   It was a women to woman reference of, "we feel your pain."   

This "solidarity" humor could be seen throughout the night whether it was sharing the spotlight with other "losers"

Having lost their Globe nomination, Fey and Poehler "stumbled" out on stage carrying full drinks and "slurring" their words. "Everybody's getting a little loose now that we're all losers," said Poehler; then Fey pointed out, "look how drunk Glenn Close is."

Close-up on the "Damages" actress weaving and bobbing theatrically.

Or the last words of the night, "We're going home with Jodie Foster."  

The "rings true" humor came shining through when the excitement over Bill Clinton was described as "That was Hillary Clinton's husband!" It was a great jab at all the times Hillary has been described as Bill's spouse.  I think women especially liked that one.

Marketing to women lesson #2 – Women want to be the heroines of their own story

When you look at many of the women who won, their characters were anything but damsels in distress.   These were characters that broke through stereotypes, whether it was Lena Dunham of Girls or Jessica Chastain who played the CIA analyst  in Zero Dark Thirty

In her acceptance speech, Chastain thanked writer Mark Boal and director Kathryn Bigelow for creating her "strong, capable,  independent" character for the film.

So marketers and advertisers, enough with the stereotypical milk toast women in your commercials.  See if your characters can pass The Buchanan Test for stereotyping female characters.  

Marketing to women lesson #3 – Address women's sense of isolation and loneliness

In two speeches successful talented amazing women admitted to being lonely.  One was Girls actress Lena Dunham, who said,

"This award is for every woman who felt like there wasn't a space for her"


"Making this show is the most validating thing I've ever felt.  It made me feel so much less alone in this world."

Then Jody Foster, yes, the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award winner Jody Foster ended her incredible acceptance speech with these words:

"I still am and I want to be seen, to be understood deeply and to be not so very lonely….. Here’s to the next 50 years."

Paying attention?   For every marketer who has ever asked me, "What do women want?" there is your answer.

Women want to be seen, to be understood deeply and to be not so very lonely.  

Example of how to tackle "loneliness" when marketing to women

In my book, The Soccer Mom Myth, I share a story about how marketers can tackle this sensitive subject.

The holidays are a very lonely time for many people,and that is exacerbated by the fact that we are surrounded by ads of romantic couples, loving families and holiday parties full of happy people.

One Thanksgiving my sister came to visit me.  She and her husband were going through a divorce.  I asked her what she wanted to do over the holiday.  She said, "Sit on the bathroom floor and drink tequila." 

Not wanting to disappoint, I set up my small bathroom with candles and two shot glasses and stole her away from the crowd to sit on the commode and shoot tequila with me.   I've never felt closer to my sister.

It's now turned into an annual tradition of Turkey Tubs and Tequila.

Imagine a holiday commercial with a scene like this?  It would recognize not everyone loves the holidays, yet still be uplifting.  

I hope you'll apply these marketing to women lessons from the Golden Globes.   

And thanks again to Tina Fey and Amy Poehler for showing how it's done.



This entry was posted in Marketing to women done well and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.