Ubermarketing targets ovulating women


It seems that someone finally got around to researching the when and why of what women buy and it appears that ovulation has an impact. The full report is due out in the next issue of Journal of Consumer Research. That’s right, not a medical journal, a consumer research journal.

For those of you who missed it in high school health class, ovulation is that time when a woman’s egg is poised and positioned optimally for fertilization. So hormone central is telling women to dress sexy during this time to catch a mate, create a baby and ensure the survival of the species.

But what’s really interesting is that we don’t do it just to look provocative for the men, but to actually look better than our rivals, other women. And the marketing researchers found a really clever way to make this determination. They asked three groups ovulating women to look at different sets of photographs: one of attractive local women, one of unattractive local women and finally attractive women who lived at a distance. The ovulators were then asked to choose items of clothing they would wear. The women who viewed the local attractive women all consistently chose items of clothing with more sexual allure. Women who viewed unattractive women were not threatened and neither were the women viewing attractive women who lived too far away to be their rivals.

This quote sums up the motives of the research and comes from Dr. Kristina Durante from the Carlson School: “For about five to six days every month, normally ovulating women - constituting over a billion consumers -- may be especially likely to purchase products and services that enhance physical appearance.”

Are we that transparent? Can we be that easily manipulated? All to perpetuate the species? You bet. Put Prada or Jimmy Choo on sale mid month and count me in.

Source: Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota


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