What the GOP can learn from the NFL about outreach to women

So imagine my surprise when one day, there it was, cutting through the Bros Drinking Beer advertising clutter: a group of women at a baby shower sit around cooing at tiny pink clothes. Our protagonist, a woman at the party, gives the camera a knowing, frustrated look. “I’m missing kickoff for this?” She chomps into a big pink cupcake. #FOMOF: Fear Of Missing Out On Football.

Oh my God, I thought. I’m not alone.

The truth is that I’m really not. Nearly half of those watching the Super Bowl will be women. The NFL has recently started to understand not just the power of the size of the female fanbase, but also how best to market to them—by ditching what is known as the outdated, clichéd “shrink it and pink it” approach. Instead of treating women like an oddball subset in need of its own, cutesy lady marketing, the NFL realized that women want to, say, wear their team’s colors just like the guys.

And whether it’s the #FOMOF cupcake or the recent Chevy Silverado ad about “a woman and her truck,” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RgGTdnQICM) it seems some savvy brands are realizing that marketing to women doesn’t just mean dusting everything with pink and glitter and emotions, or buying advertising time on Lifetime and E!. It means treating women not as some alien species or subgroup. Sometimes we’re bummed about missing football. Sometimes we need a truck that can pull a couple thousand pounds. Not a women’s truck. Just a truck.