People often like to blame the politicians for dividing society into racial groups, but in terms of packaging humans into commoditised parcels, can't marketers be held the most to blame?
I had a 'straw that broke the camel's back' moment last night, when I read through a separate motoring magazine - Women on Wheels, or somesuch - piggy-backing on the distribution of a popular interior decorating magazine.
The advert on the back cover was for Lady@Out, a new campaign being run by Outsurance: http://www.outsurance.co.za/personal/other-insurance-products/lady-at-out/
Let me quote: "At OUTsurance, women have always reaped the benefit of being the safer, more responsible gender by paying a much lower car insurance premium than their male counterparts. We’ve now gone one step further by designing a brand-new insurance package, especially for our female clients. At a small additional premium, you’ll enjoy access to a host of awesome benefits – each of which is sure to make your life that little bit easier!"
I just so happen to be a man, and just so happen to be one of OUTsurance's 'valuable' clients. My immediate reaction was 'So where is Gentleman @ out?' Why does OUTsurance assume that I don't need access to a handyman, trip monitoring, coverage for groceries stolen from my car, or a version of 'handbag' cover?
Then I started pondering why was the assumption made that women need a separate supplement for motoring in any case - filled with all the stereotypes and cliched language you could wish for - and packaged with an interior decorating magazine?
If I was a woman, wouldn't I find that sort of treatment insulting? And as a guy, why is it assumed that I WON'T be insulted when my interior decorating magazine is packaged with a magazine which so clearly ignores me. And, finally, WHY is the staff of the interior decorating magazine composed 95% of women?
Aargh, this is all so frustrating to me, and I don't know if I'm the only one. To the women out there, do you feel that you're being targeted poorly when the 'female' magazines out their are heavy with handbag and eyeliner adverts and human interest stories about break-ups and relationships?
To the guys out there, do you hate the assumption that you automatically are interested in rugby, beer, how to pick up women in bars and how to build a shelf from scratch just because you have the requisite genitalia?
To re-focus this generalised rant, I'm disappointed that OUTsurance wouldn't care that it is snubbing me, as a male customer, through launching a targeted campaign like this which clearly excludes me. They are by no means the only company doing this though: to the extent that we don't even notice it anymore.
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