Marketers To Boost Red in Ads That Target Men

If it’s true that men are from Mars and women are from Venus, marketers might want to consider their strategy when targeting specific genders. A new study out of the redpricetagSaid Business School, University of Oxford focuses on the differences between men and women when they view advertising. Men tend not to read marketing messages in the same way as women but advertisers can gain an edge with men if they use the right color.

Researchers studied the impact that red and black text makes in marketing messages. According to Nancy M Puccinelli and her colleagues, men are more apt to scan advertising than women. They are also more likely to notice red text than black text. Researchers say men also connect the color red with pleasure and believe that prices printed in red equate to a deal. During this research study, men were questioned after viewing prices in red and they incorrectly recalled a lower price. Additional research shows that when men take the time to carefully read an ad, they are not as heavily influenced by the color of the text.

Women, on the other hand, are not fooled. In general, female shoppers take more time to think through what they will buy, how much it costs. They were much better at remembering actual prices printed on advertisements. Researchers supposed this is because women are accustomed to make more of the purchasing decisions for the household.

Nancy Puccinelli, Fellow in Consumer Marketing, Said Business School, University of Oxford,  says “Many men claim to dislike shopping, and here we can see this reflected in their shallow processing of advertisements." Retailers who are targeting men might want to make use of this detail and print their prices prominently in red.

What do you think of this study? Do you or your clients consistently print product prices in red?


Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.