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Three New “types” of Women: Are You One of Them?

Hey SheNOW Members – What Are Your Thoughts on These New Segments?

By Piper Weiss, Shine Staff | Work + Money – Mon, Feb 27, 2012 5:06 PM EST

Original Post

The happy homemaker has hung up her apron. After years marveling over moisture-rich hand-soap and test-washing her kids’ dirt-stained soccer jerseys, the stay at home mom has all but disappeared from commercials.

The new breed of female consumers are financially independent, tech-reliant and more interested in shopping for clothes, cosmetics and cars than cleaning supplies. They also span the decades from their mid-20s to their mid-60s. As a result, advertisers are rethinking the average women as anything but average.

A feature in the latest issue of AdWeek, gathers marketing trends, statistics and feedback from advertising specialists to break our three new “types” of women targeted in commercials. They’ve been around for a few years now, but their numbers are growing in direct relation to women’s financial success.

Instead of a mom doing laundry, the latest Tide commercial features a 20-something woman discussing the merits of yoga pants over brunch with a friend. The standard Dyson vacuum commercial plays up high-tech gadgetry rather than housework. And the latest Chevy commercial features a pregnant woman apartment hunting with her slightly less demanding husband.

Advertisers may have created new cookie cutter concepts of women, but it’s largely in reaction to statistics. Women are marrying later or not at all, earning higher salaries, having fewer kids and living longer. They’re also being taken seriously as consumers.

It was only in the last century that a coffee ad featured a woman being spanked for buying her husband the wrong brand. Now most commercials geared to married women, from Progresso Soup to nuts, convey a very different dynamic. The husband is the comic relief with bad style and a slightly dopey demeanor who isn’t in always on the joke.

As women’s status at home and at work evolve, so does the way they’re projected in ads. Consider these three new “breeds” of female consumers, according to Adweek. Advertisers are hoping you’ll recognize yourself in one of them. Regardless, you will recognize all three from the latest commercials. We did.

The Indie Woman

Age: 28-34

Marital status: single

Average Income: $33,200

Career-driven with a healthy dose of cynicism, especially when it comes to romance, she relies on her friends as influencers more than the man in her life. To that end, she’s not afraid to talk about topics her mother shied away from (birth control, tampons). She’s also not afraid to splurge on big purchases, especially online.

Biggest splurge: Designer clothes and accessories (bought for a bargain)

We recognize her as: One of the Yaz besties who ‘dish’ on birth control over cocktails. The snarky Kotex tampon comedienne that makes fun of other tampon commercials. TJ Max’s Max-inista.


The Mom Achiever

Age: 35-45

Marital status: Married or in a relationship with a child

Average Income: $75,000

AdWeek sums up this type of target audience in a word: driven. She’s a high-powered career woman who contributes heavily to the household income, and may even be the main-breadwinner in the family after the recent “man-cession.” Unlike the homemakers in detergent commercials of yesteryear, she isn’t the family washing machine. She also places a premium on alone time, away from work and family, which is why you’re not likely to see her forking over Stovetop to a table full of neighborhood kids.

Biggest Splurge: Gadgets, beauty products

We recognize her as: The successful female celebrity (SJP, Kelly Ripa, etc) in anti-aging skincare ads. The woman in the Tide commercial who hands her baby over to her husband to change the diapers. The lady who needs some Laughing Cow me-time every now and then.


The Alpha Goddess

Age: 55-64

Marital status: Divorced, widowed or single

Average Income: $69,000

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, is the single woman over 55. She’s a smart investor that’s as tech-savvy as someone half her age, and she’s becoming one of the most powerful consumers in the country. Prepared to reap the benefits of her independence by spending more on her own self-improvement, the quest for dream-fulfillment make this female prototype a target for vacation packages, luxury cars, home improvement and, notably, anti-depressants. An emphasis on sensuality is also key to this demographic. According to AdWeek, this group spends the most on perfumes and is a blossoming portion of online daters.

Biggest splurge: Travel, luxury cars, prescription drugs

We recognize her as: The woman in the Pristiq ads who has to wind herself up to sell antiques. Martha Stewart.

Copyright © 2012 Yahoo Inc

Images Courtesy of Yahoo, Inc and ThinkStock Photos


8 comments on “Three New “types” of Women: Are You One of Them?

  1. I think it’s reflective of the wave of the future, and there is more and more of us. I would be in the “indie woman” and proud of it. I’m glad to see more powerful women in advertising. Go us!

    • Hey Tiffany,

      Thanks for the comment, and it is interesting to see the change in advertisement to be more reflective of the different segments of women out there. This article is still missing a few key ones, but it is more for pointing out the NEW ones that are starting to take over. I would be in the “indie woman” group with you. Go us!

  2. I agree with the segments but not sure how I feel on them dumbing down men. Although, women spent tons of years as the “idiots” in commercials…maybe it’s just fair? ; )

    • I agree. I don’t think it’s necessary to have one gender play the “dumb” part…but glad to see that if they are going to do it, it’s not always the female role.

  3. It’s a great post! I agree with the age groups/labels too. Though not all women believe that only a family and a husband “complete” them. I never had kids. I traveled a lot during my 20s. Ended up on the other side of the country when I finally did settle. Now I’m 42 and that time for kids has just passed me by. I don’t yearn for being a mom either.

    Though, that brings me to my point. Women seem to be enjoying their “freedom” and single-ness. More of us are even raising children, by choice, by themselves. I think it’s fantastic! Don’t need no man to “complete” me! No way. But he’s sure handy to have around 😀

    • Hey Shannon!

      Thanks for the comment and welcome to SheNOW! And, I agree with you! A quote I often say is “A man and a baby don’t define or complete you, only YOU can complete you.”

      You are absolutely correct that women are enjoying their “freedom” and that is why we are seeing the number of unmarried women rise and the median age at first marriage is higher than it’s ever been.

      Life is not about marriage and babies…it’s about LIVING!=)

  4. I guess I really am an old soul? lol.

    I’m in my mid twenties with a lot of “life” experiences under my belt. I come from a big family and I’m the glue. Since I was of age to work, I got a job and worked very hard to get a cell phone because my parents wouldn’t buy me one. Since I started working, I feel like it hasn’t stopped. I put college aside because I wanted to help my family and make sure that we were all financially set. Now I’m no high roller, but I put my family first too many times over myself when it came to my finances.

    Fortunately and unfortunately I learned the hard way. When I was 16, a senior in high school, I worked almost 40 hours a week and worked a full time job at a retail store. I’m grateful that I have hard working parents. However, by putting my own dreams aside to take care of them really put a dent in my plans. I wanted to become a nurse in the NICU. It was my ultimate dream and it was just recently that I came to terms with what my life is right now, in the present.

    After thousands of dollars in student debt and spending the past 7 years of my life in and out of college, I finally accepted the fact that it is OK to put a dream aside if it’s not the right time. I always told myself if I want to invest my time and money into something, it better be worth it and something that I LOVE. I need time to soul search and just enjoy my life. The past few months my family has started fall apart…and that’s kind of an understatement. Since I was always the glue, I carried the burden of everyone in my family. But that’s all changing.

    I sat down one day and asked myself if all my worrying and playing Ms.Fix It will ever benefit me? Is it really worth trying to be the one that makes everything better? When in reality people will do what they want regardless of what you advise them to do.

    I think it’s so important for young women to take care of themselves and focus on their goals and aspirations…especially happiness. In many cultures women are raised to be the care givers or stay at home moms and that’s all they know. I refuse to let that follow me into my adult life.

    I wonder if there’s a category for me or if I’m just an old soul? 😉


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