In Don Draper's day, advertisers marketed to women with images like this one:
But unlike Don Draper, the ad exec who came up with this charming little homage to domestic abuse was a real person who thought he was actually connecting with real women.
The spanking ad was the first in a series of then-and-now examples featured during a session at last week's inaugural "Red Letter Day" conference organized by Brandwise marketing agency in Nashville. For a jam-packed day at Lipscomb University, speakers from a variety of marketing disciplines talked about ways in which brands and agencies can do a better job appealing to women.
The then-and-now ads were part of a session on point-of-view marketing taught by Courtney Seiter of Buffer social media tools. In Courtney's talk, attendees learned how brands with strong values can influence positive social change and subsequently drive consumer loyalty, engagement and sales. She compared the spanking ad to the Always "Like A Girl" series as an example of how to do this well.
It was a topic that resonated well with the audience of 250-plus mostly-female executives, which included a mix of brand representatives, agency folks, and creatives from industries ranging from healthcare to technology to education to consumer goods.
Nine sessions - interspersed with networking activities, lunch and cupcakes - featured a diverse speaker. I was privileged to be part of the event as an interviewer / emcee. Here are some of my favorite takeaways from what each person had to say. You can learn more by checking out the conference hashtag, #redletterday2016, on Twitter.