June 05, 2007
The "Secret" to Marketing
Posted by Christine Hurt

Secret Traveling last week, I read several magazines.  (As a rebellion against law firm practice, I never work on planes, which was required in order to bill airtime.  Instead, I read magazines.)  I noticed the same ad for Secret antiperspirant several times.  What struck me was the slogan:  "Strong Like a Woman."

Of course, anyone who watched TV in the 70's remembers the slogan "Strong enough for a man, but made for a woman."  The commercial usually involved a man trying to snatch his wife's Secret, and the wife snatching it back, like the poor Trix rabbit who doesn't understand that "Trix are for kids."  I actually used to feel sorry for the guy and wondered why he couldn't use Secret deodorant.  Anyway, I suppose the ads were a way to sell a product to women without acknowledging that women might need the product -- we know that women don't really sweat, only men sweat, but you might buy this flowery-smelling product just in case.

Now, the advertising is more upfront, acknowledging that women are not only strong, but they also sweat.  "Some of us don't perspire.  Or Glisten.  We Sweat" is an homage to the old saying that "horses sweat, men perspire, women glow."  The magazine ad pictures a very attractive woman divulging her secret that she sweats "like a pig."  I also noticed that the woman, who could be in her 30s, is noticeably displaying her ringless left hand and seems to be traveling somewhere warm by herself.  Very different from the housewife wranging her deodorant from her husband!

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