August 26, 2008

Even the Olympics Figured Out How to Reach Women

Why can't films? It seems that women watched the Olympics more than men -- 49% to 41%. I watched the Olympics mostly the first week because of the swimming and Dara Torres, but I also watched every women's soccer game. NBC for all their stupidity in embracing the Chinese government to an ass kissing degree was able to lure women viewers to the TV sets in large, large numbers. Michael Phelp's mom is even about to get an endorsement deal with Chico's whose clothes she wore through all his races. Can we take any lessons from the success of the Olympics in reaching women?

The large female viewership for the Olympics and the spate of spots intended for women are anomalies in TV sports.

Although women do not generally watch as much sports on TV as men do, they do watch a lot of other programs that draw fewer male viewers, among them daytime soap operas and nighttime serialized dramas.

But the Olympics differs from more prosaic shows watched by women because it is “also the perfect family programming,” said Steve Sternberg, executive vice president for audience analysis at Magna, an Interpublic media agency in New York.

“The Olympics is a great educational venue for children,” said James Lou, managing director for strategy at the Chicago office of DDB Worldwide, part of the Omnicom Group, “which gives it such an appeal to especially moms.”

Olympics Draw High Percentage of Women Viewers, and Ads Intended for Them (NY Times)