New research from Bauer urges brands to better understand women

• Marketers are largely overlooking the semiotic codes called Bold & Brave and Free Agent

Advertisers are failing to keep pace with the evolution of Australian women. There are two emerging codes that are redefining what it is to be a woman in 2018, according to new research from Bauer Media.

Marketers are largely overlooking the semiotic codes called Bold & Brave and Free Agent, which are increasingly representative of contemporary Australian womanhood.

Bauer, in partnership with leading brand strategy agency The Lab, interviewed thought leaders including academics, social commentators and business leaders and carried out semiotic analysis of TV, film, social media and content across a number of categories. The findings were then explored with female consumers aged 18-24 and 34-45.

The Free Agent code recognises the importance of humankind with women participating equally alongside men and being unapologetically themselves. Liberated from self-doubt and cultural norms, women have moved away from being engaged in the struggle to having already won the battle. Realness, honesty and doing things for yourself are celebrated.

Meanwhile, the Bold & Brave code acknowledges the societal change toward protest such as the #metoo movement, but recognises women’s need to take individuals paths to protest. It also demonstrates women as embracing positions of power and authority to achieve positive change.

However, the research shows Australia remains a conservative country when it comes to the representation of women. The other two of the total four semiotic codes reflect this. The Woman’s Touch and Inner Girl are more traditional and dominant in the society, and are being recycled by some Australian brands.

On the back of the research Bauer Media is launching Speak Her Language, a series of content and creative workshops with Story54. The aim of it is to give marketers a deeper understanding of how to connect with the new identities of Australian women by leveraging The Significant Study insights for more effective campaigns.

Story54 GM Jane Waterhouse said: “The Australian woman continues to evolve and yet this is not reflected in how brands are communicating with this important half of the population. This research shows that women now see their status and position in society very differently from even five years ago and it’s crucial that marketers keep up with this change.

“Bauer continues to invest to provide our partners with the latest trends and research on the Australian woman. Ultimately our goal is to help brands have a more progressive representation of Australian women in advertising, to keep pace with what’s happening around the world.”

The Significant Study is the latest finding from Bauer Media’s ongoing Female Futures initiative. Since the launch of the initiative, Bauer brands have campaigned for No Gender Selective Tax and launched The Weekly’s Women of the Future, 10 Million Words corporate promise and digital home Women to Love.

The company also launched a series of content and creative workshops with Story54.

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