Ad women:how they impact what we need, want and buy
Ad women: how they impact what we need, want and buy
By Juliann Sivulka
Most of the workers in advertising, the media, retail, and fashion are women. Holding key marketing and advertising positions, women shape the basic promotional appeal of almost every consumer product in America. How did the advertising business go from a handful of women in a man’s world to women working in virtually every mass consumer goods industry in America in the space of the twentieth century? Ad Women tells the story of how women have risen to the top of the advertising profession. Juliann Sivulka, a former marketing communications manager and now an advertising educator, describes how, at the beginning of the twentieth century, the recognition of women as primary consumers resulted in the hiring of more women to promote products aimed at the women’s market. At that time manufacturers began to emphasize color, fashion, and style, while advertising embraced a new language of persuasion aimed at women consumers. Soon agencies were recruiting an ensemble of businesswomen–copywriters, product designers, merchandisers, fashion and beauty experts, home economists, editors, and publicists. Through close collaboration with manufacturers, mass media, and retailers, they participated in developing strategies to convince women to buy goods and wove their selling messages into women’s reading, shopping, housework, and leisure activities.