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Women in History Not Afraid to Make a Fuss

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With Women’s History Month almost over, we’ve been reflecting on contributions made by women of the world. A couple of observations stand out:

  • Remarkable women challenge the status-quo, make a ruckus and stop at nothing to incite change when needed.
  • Today, women are better equipped than ever to make an impact, thanks to the digital tools at our disposal.

Here are a few examples of extraordinary women who have employed key communication skills when re-shaping their world:

  • Eleanor Roosevelt – the Former First Lady had an international mindset. A prolific and outspoken activist, Eleanor held more than 340 press conferences, and penned her own daily newspaper column. She lobbied heavily for her husband during his 12 years in office, and publicly challenged his policies if she disagreed with them. Just imagine what she could have done with Twitter!
  • Princess Diana – the People’s Princess masterfully worked the media, bringing global attention to causes of her choice, always with intent of giving voice to the sick, the poor and the forgotten.
  • Margaret Thatcher – the Iron Lady took media relations into the modern age, using rhetoric and persuasive communication to re-shape attitudes and actuality. She also knew how to leverage a photo opportunity to show her own will aligned with the country’s.
  • Hillary Clinton – the glass ceiling cracker, former Secretary of State and the only First Lady ever to run for public office, embraced the digital world joining Twitter last year after the Texts From Hillary meme went viral. Hillary’s Twitter handle now has 1.25MM followers. She shares updates on world issues, cause work and The Super Bowl.
  • Malala Yousafzai – the teenage education activist embodies the power of storytelling. First in writing an undercover blog, then in recounting her story of surviving a Taliban assassination attempt to inspire girls all over the world to push for education. Her compelling story brings a face to the issue, and helps people connect with the cause.

You have to wonder what might these women have achieved if they had all been armed with social media? Today we don’t have to rely on the media to voice our opinions, we have the tools to instantaneously go directly to the world. As we press on re-shaping the status-quo, may we utilize all the digital tools in our arsenal and continue to make a fuss.

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MMC and Venus Help Women Find Their Perfect Match

venus eventImage Courtesy of Venus

Gillette Venus is all about helping women find their “perfect match”: a razor that truly delivers great results for smooth, beautiful skin. This year, Venus is celebrating the exciting launch of two new razors: the Venus Embrace Sensitive and Venus Snap with Embrace. At the official launch event, MMC and Venus hosted media influencers and their “perfect matches” (BFFs, moms and colleagues) to learn about the Venus products best matched to their skin and lifestyle needs. Attendees also participated in activities tailored to their lifestyles, such as indoor rock-climbing, surf set and yoga. The new Venus Embrace Sensitive and Venus Snap with Embrace will be available starting in March. Check out the online buzz with #VenusPerfectMatch.

FTC’s New Year’s Resolution is to Trim Down Foul Weight Loss Marketing

I want to be skinnier in 2014. I want to eat less and better and exercise more – and ideally come across a remedy that magically helps me shed pounds instantly, with minimal effort. I’ll pay whatever I can afford. I’ll take it everywhere I go. I’ll Instagram, Tweet and Facebook it.

This is the topic that the Federal Trade Commission discussed yesterday at its press conference. It turns out that several companies have developed products with this audience in mind and promoted benefits that seemed too good to be true. Turns out they were.

These companies and products got hit with fines as part of the FTC’s law enforcement initiative to combat deceptive claims to weight loss products:

  • Sensa: claimed users can simply sprinkle, eat and lose weight
  • L’Occitane: claimed skin cream slims down your body
  • HCG Diet Direct: marketed unproven human hormone
  • LeanSpa, LLC: promoted weight loss supplements through fake news websites

The companies will pay a combined $34 million to settle these charges. Ouch.

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Thank You, Glamour.

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I had the great fortune of attending Glamour’s “Women of the Year” Awards last night – an evening packed with inspiration, tears, and the hard work and tireless determination of 12 women with awe-inspiring life achievements.

So, during my subway ride this morning, I took the time to reflect on which of the program’s “moments” (and there were many!) was most powerful.

It wasn’t the medley of Lady Gaga songs performed by members of the fifth-grade PS22 Chorus in Staten Island, or the surprise appearance by Oscar de la Renta to honor Natalie Manesset. Or even the moms of the children that Kaitlin Roig DeBellis helped save at Sandy Hook, who stood proudly on stage to honor her (smart guests, like me, brought their tissues).

It was the shrieks from Glamour’s “Girls in the Balcony” – several groups of schools Glamour invited to attend the event, among them the Lower East Side Girls Club. They were shouting “I LOVE YOU!,” but it wasn’t for Lady Gaga. It was for Malala Yousufzai.  And that speaks volumes. 

You likely know Malala, and her story – though just a year ago she was as unknown as the 66 million girls who aren’t in school that she is now fighting to help.  She’s 16, and she’s inspiring young women around that world that their voice matters.

My top quotes from last night:

Husband of the year: “You’re the closest to heaven I’ve ever been.” – Hillary Rodham Clinton quoting Mark Kelly, about his wife Gabby Giffords (Glamour’s first ever “couple of the year!”)

Inspiration for beauty junkies: “Beauty is not in the face. It’s a light that shines from within.” – Malala

Throwback that I love: “Imagine your future with the confidence of your 10 year old self.”  – Glamour Editor-in-Chief Cindy Lieve, quoting 2009 WOTY alum Amy Poehler

On her Glamour cover: “Every woman here deserves to be on the cover. But if I could forfeit my Glamour cover, it would be to Malala.” – Lady Gaga

From the ever-stylish and intelligent one: “You can’t be stylish without being smart,” – Natalie Massenet

Advice to be repeated every day, all day: “Be yourself. Everybody else is already taken.”” – Melinda Gates

Yes. Thank you!: “Strong women get things done. Be passionate. Be courageous. Be your best.” – Gabby Giffords

In memory: “This award is in honor of the 26 angels looking down on us right now.” – Kaitlin Roig DeBellis

To support Malala and Glamour’s Women of the Year fund, click here. My hands are all clapped out, but the 2013 Women of the Year deserve another round of applause.  What an honor it was to spend a couple hours with you. As Glamour put it so well on their own blog, guests were left asking:

How can we take what we just heard, and use it to do more?

 

The Secret team launches new Secret Clinical Strength Collection with The Moth storytellers

Image courtesy of Kate Lord
Divinely confident: Our own Nicole Kaldes braves the Secret Moth stage

Wednesday night, the MMC Secret team hosted an intimate evening for media guests to launch the brand’s newest innovations for personalized Clinical Strength protection: Secret Clinical Strength Invisible Solid and Secret Clinical Strength Clear Gel, two category-firsts, giving women 100% odor protection for 100% confidence, guaranteed.

The experience immersed short-lead media influencers in women’s journeys to 100% confidence through the live performance of true life confidence narratives, as told by three fearless female storytellers from the renowned storytelling group The Moth.

The themes of confidence and fearlessness shined through each uniquely captivating story, after which the media were encouraged to conquer their fear, and potential stress sweat, by sharing their own confidence story. MMC’s own Nicole Kaldes demonstrated her #BeFearless attitude and took to the mic to tell a personal high school story that was met with laughter and applause from the audience.

Media attendees shared photos throughout the night on Twitter and Instagram and left feeling confident and inspired by the experience.

For more information on the Secret Clinical Strength Collection, or to get your hands on one before they hit stores, visit: https://www.secretstore.com/ and learn about upcoming events from The Moth here: http://themoth.org/.

The “Misconception” About Birth Control

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With all the education available about contraceptive methods, you’d think women would be more knowledgeable about this topic. But new research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that 80 percent of women still do not know which birth control is most effective.   

Most women do not realize that both oral contraceptives and condoms – while more popular, are less effective than an intrauterine device (IUD) or birth control implant.  This “misconception” highlights the continued need to educate women.

 

New Study Breaks Down When Women Feel Most and Least Attractive

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Saturday. That’s the one day of the week I feel most attractive. But believe it or not, I’m part of a small minority of women who feel that way. According to a new study from PHD Media, women feel least attractive on Saturday (31%), Sunday (39%) and Monday (46%). Mornings don’t top the attractiveness scale either with 58% and 38% of respondents saying they feel unattractive from 5:00-7:00am and 7:00-9:00am, respectively. When do women feel they’re at their peak? On Thursdays and between 12:00-3:00pm. Who knew!?

As marketers and communicators, it’s wise for us to take these insights and apply them to our work, especially as we look to forge emotional connections between consumers and our clients’ brands. The survey findings give marketers the opportunity to practice an empowerment/engagement strategy that reaches consumers when they need a boost – in self-esteem, morale and overall well being. Because when you feel good, you look good and isn’t that what every woman wants?  Brands that can empower female consumers during this time of need and help them feel their best will always come out on top.

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