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Summer 2023: Women, Marketing & The Global Economy

January 11, 2024

Written By:

McCall Moore

It’s been quite a summer in the media and advertising world — from the release of the highly anticipated Barbie movie to the resounding success of Beyonce’s Renaissance World Tour and Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour, all the way to the Southern Hemisphere for the Women’s World Cup — the entertainment landscape saw a surge in both excitement and spending. What’s even more significant is the role that women played in driving these economic changes, underscoring the importance of marketing to this influential demographic. 

There’s been a ton of noise between all the events of the summer, but as marketers, our question is always the same: what’s the through line? While there are multiple variables involved in all the success here, there’s two worth noting: women and fun. 

Since 2020, marketing and advertising, across the board, have felt so serious — and rightfully so

After the reckoning of 2020, it wasn’t enough for companies to just talk the talk. Gone are the days where consumers are happy with just a great product; they want to know that their money is supporting a company that stands for the same values they do. The summer of 2023 felt like the first time in a long time that marketing campaigns were fun again — and life was fun again.

Although, this time around, fun wasn’t synonymous with frivolous. 

What was so powerful about the ‘Barbie’ movie, or the Eras Tour and Renaissance World Tour, is they express the full multidimensional experience of being a woman today. Take, for example, my favorite ad of the entire year: France’s ad for the Women’s World Cup, blatantly and overtly calling out the gender bias in sports viewership, while simultaneously showcasing how powerful the women of the team are. That’s something we haven’t seen much of when we look at traditional advertising — for too long, so many brands have talked to women in a one dimensional way; in other words, shrink it and pink it

Yet, women control or influence over 80% of consumer spending. We saw a complete renaissance (no pun intended) in women’s marketing this summer, particularly in how women are talked to and represented. Why is that so important? Well, for a myriad of reasons, but the top of that list is the monetary influence of this audience.

And to cap all of that, the success of Taylor Swift’s Eras tour is projected to generate nearly $5B for the US economy, with Swift’s three night stint in Houston boosting hotel occupancy rates more than the NCAA men’s Final Four per a local tourism agency.

All in all, the events of the past summer crystallize the pivotal role women play in shaping consumer trends and ultimately driving economic growth. Women’s consumer spending isn’t just sizable — it’s influential. 

As more and more industries tap into the importance of marketing to women, they tap into a demographic that not only drives economic growth, but also exerts substantial influence over cultural narratives and consumer preferences. The events of this past summer vividly underscore the role of women as both pivotal consumers and trendsetters within the global economy. 

Case in point: the unmissable (even if you really wish you could miss it) Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce phenomenon. 

After Swift’s first appearance at a Chief’s game, ESPN,The NFL, Chiefs, and Sportscenter all doubled down and pumped out Swift related content — a bit of a godsend for a league that’s been trying to reach women for years — for the 48 hours after; If you went on the internet between 9/24 and 9/30, you probably saw content about it. What you likely didn’t see? The impact from the 48 hours after (per Front Office Sports):

Even more absurd? After a photo surfaced of Swift eating ketchup and ‘seemingly ranch’, Heinz rolled out its newest concoction of, you guessed it, ‘ketchup and seemingly ranch’. 

Marketing to women *checks notes* works. Extremely well.

"Its not wether you get knocked down"


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