Women Are Responsible For This Year’s Hottest Brands.

Adage’s 2010 Hottest Brands list is out and from the brand names on the list, it just goes to show the power of the female consumer.

With moms 32% more likely to use smart phones than the national average, it’s no wonder the Droid is at the top of the list followed by Glee (we’re quite the gleeks over here at Just Ask a Woman) and our personal favorite, Groupon

We know the power of the female consumer, which is why we’re not surprised to see Old Spice on the list.  We fell in love with the new campaign targeting the female influencers in men’s lives.

We are also glad to see Dawn dish soap made the list.  Procter & Gamble has done well combining innovation, value messaging  and saving the environment – from recession to oil spills, this brand knows how to make women feel good and clean.

U by Kotex has done a fantastic job getting young women to feel more comfortable in what we like to call, the “pink ghetto” ( That aisle in the supermarket or drugstore that we quickly walk down or avoid altogether.)  We especially loved that the campaign poked fun at typical advertising in this category.  Breaking the cycle can be difficult for many brands. Companies can learn from their brave move.

And while there are quite a number of other brands that made the list that can link their success to women, Reebok’s EasyTone also has Katrin Ley, Head of Brand Strategy, Business Development and Women’s Sport Business, to thank for the growing toning category. They have sold 5 million pairs of EasyTone in the U.S.

And while My Pillow Pets and Silly Bandz have a much younger audience, we know who is laying out the money for these as well.

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You Are NOT Old Spice

Cringe Factor: 10+
Humor Factor: 0
Makes me want to buy the competitor Factor: 10+

So Stayfree in Canada thought they’d learned something from Old Spice and launched a viral campaign (glad it is a virus because it makes me want to heave) for their products. I hate to drive traffic to this campaign at all so I will post a link to an article about it by Hollie Shaw from the Financial Post just to be fair to our readers.

Here’s the gist: a man (that the agency decided you will find so sexy and sweet and romantic that you will forget to have any dignity) is setting up the perfect date for you (according to the agency) and in the middle of the video this same shirtless man starts to talk about the virtues of Stayfree versus the competitor and offers a link to get a free box.

Let me be clear: NO MAN in advertising should be talking about things with wings that don’t fly. I don’t care how evolved we all are I am not cool with this. Why should a man you are dating be an expert in pads??? How creepy!?

It was strategic for Old Spice to recognize that women are doing the shopping for the men in their lives so appealing to them actually made business sense (besides just making a joke). Men will only buy women feminine hygiene products under duress. This just feels like a misdirected copycat.

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Old Spice is a Whole Truth Brand: “The Man your Man Could Smell Like” is the perfect marketing with women execution

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Last night while catching up on last week’s DVR’d Lost, I saw for the first time a new pool-out of Old Spice’s “Smell like a Man, Man” campaign and I loved it!  I must have rewound it 3 times!  This new spot from Wieden + Kennedy, “The man your man could smell like”, hits the Whole Truth right on the head. 

Not only do they give a nod to the fact that men are grabbing their partner’s “lady scented” body wash while in the shower, they also recognize that the primary shopper for body wash is most likely the woman of the house. 

While the earlier spots specifically targeted him, this one takes a turn and focuses on her. The over-the-top flaunting of the beautiful man on the beautiful yacht, offering the perfect gift  “Two tickets to that thing you love.” is a sneaky way to sell men’s body wash.  Make her want her man to smell like a man…If you can’t sway him, sway her!  The execution is brilliant and my next trip to Duane Reade might just include a stop at the Old Spice shelf!

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October 20, 2020
by Mary Lou Quinlan

A look at an early production of WORK

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The God Box Goes Global!

“The God Box” has grown to include an app, audio book, philanthropic venture and solo show performed by Mary Lou across the US. Now The God Box Project goes global to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
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