Manketing

We’ve already established that men are just slightly dumber than a dog.

And as I said in that blog post: Show me a doofus husband, and I’ll show you a wife who just needs more time.

What I failed to realize at that time, however, is that this is giving rise to a whole new field within the world of marketing, something I’ll call Manketing: The marketing of men’s products by targeting women.

Because I am slightly dumber than a dog, it’s no great wonder that I fail to realize that I’m incapable of making decisions for myself. (I am smart enough, however, to understand that I can’t make household-related decisions — I came to that realization 22 years ago, about 10 seconds after I said “I do”).

I also possess a sufficient degree of self-awareness to realize that I can’t be trusted to dress myself. If my wife didn’t give me the go/no-go approval on my selection of clothes, it’s scary to think about what I might wear in public.

So it’s no surprise that marketers would target women for household-related things or even men’s clothes. And because modern couples make joint decisions about big-ticket items, car marketers can’t even focus on men anymore.

But, with Father’s Day approaching, manketing has gone too far. The ad below was received by a female Twitter friend of mine:

This is creepy beyond words.

I’ve got three daughters. If the the 20- or 15-year old were to give me one of these products, I’d be pretty grossed out. If my 9-year old gave me one of these products, I’d hit the floor in uncontrollable laughter. If my wife gave me one of these products for Father’s Day, I’d be convinced that she had lost her mind.

I don’t have sons, but I can’t imagine one giving these to his dad. “Hope you like it, Dad, I love the one I have.” Uh, no.

Can you imagine the situation the other way around? “Here, hon, I got you Nair® Naturally Smooth Cucumber Lotion, happy mother’s day.” (The product name itself is wrong on so many levels). Guess who’d be sleeping on the couch?

Manketing is a trend that isn’t going to go away too soon. But, please marketers: Let’s draw the line somewhere.