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It's Raining Men

In advertising, a good man is sometimes hard to find. So avoiding the stereotype trap can pay off with a barrage of male customers.

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This story appears in the May 2007 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

If you were to describe the typical American male based solely on the images portrayed in marketing media, you'd say he was a buffoon who knew nothing about what to buy or how to shop, and even less about running his home or taking care of his children. In short, male consumers are more likely to be insulted by their depiction in marketing media than to be motivated by it. According to a study by Leo Burnett Worldwide Inc., nearly 80 percent of American men say they can barely recognize themselves in advertisements.

Most advertising is out of step with men's reality. With a large percentage of women working, men in their 20s and 30s who are parents are spending considerably more time with their children than their fathers did, plus doing at least some of the family's grocery shopping and making more household purchasing decisions. And millions of baby boomer males also shop more than their fathers and grandfathers did.

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