WPP-Featured Hold-Her-Gaze-min

The future of marketing to women

Cultural shifts that will change how advertisers connect with women

Hold Her Gaze, which took place as part of Kantar's What Women Want? programme, is an exploration of culture today in order to inspire the landscape of marketing to women tomorrow. Hold Her Gaze provides a provocative vision of conversations around women, and those who identify as women, to motivate, guide and inspire brands today. 

Examining emergent, dynamic dialogues – from the #metoo movement to femtech innovations – Kantar Consulting’s research took a broad and category-agnostic view of the world to understand the shifting landscape of the female experience. These cultural shifts and the resulting conversations are brought to life with designs and installations by Grey London.

Uncover the untold

Women are rewriting their own history, taking back their narratives and encouraging all of us to look at the past anew.

History is increasingly being reexamined from all angles: from statues celebrating colonial leaders being torn down in universities and town squares, to previously adored artists facing fresh criticism for sexist portrayals of women. The #metoo movement is raising new questions about male privilege and power, as we examine the ways women have been erased from history.

Women are questioning how and by whom history has been written, and are reframing stories in a more positive feminine light. Women who have been lost, forgotten or purposefully excluded from history are being newly discovered and celebrated, creating new role models as we retell history through a new lens of equality.


No man's land (below right)

Women are creating events, spaces and communities that are free of men; from women only co-working spaces to music festivals.

Rooted in the concept of sisterhood and the safe spaces born of second-wave feminism, this new iteration of women-only spaces goes beyond friendship and support. Women-only co-working spaces are subverting the paradigm of the Old Boys’ Club to create something more progressive, nurturing and collaborative where women can develop both professionally and personally.

Social events, club nights and festivals that are cis-men free are popping up around the globe to create radically female-focused occasions, and in the world of sport, women are creating new spaces to explore previously male-dominated activities.


In sync (above left)

Femtech innovations are revolutionising women’s holistic healthcare, empowering women to take control of their bodies.

Period tracking app Clue uses machine learning to track fertility, moods and pain. Made by women, for women, it has been credited with saving and improving lives, allowing its users to track and evidence symptoms of ovarian cancer, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and endometriosis. New femtech solutions are empowering women to take control over the things that matter most to them.

In March 2018, Frost & Sullivan predicted that the growing sector of femtech could achieve a market potential of $50 billion by 2025.

The taboo-busting power of the body positivity movement has created a more open and honest dialogue around women’s bodies, and women are now looking for solutions that meet their functional needs.

I contain multitudes

Celebrating the women who refuse to conform to society’s narrow expectations of how they should behave.

The longstanding policing of the behaviour of women has meant that there are a certain set of standards that define how a woman should behave, and any woman that acts outside of these boundaries is seen as unruly. We quickly judge a women for being ‘too much’: too opinionated, too emotional, too shrill.

This narrow definition of womanhood means that anyone who acts outside these boundaries is considered to be unfeminine.

Women are starting to challenge these expectations, taking ownership of words that have been used against them, and challenging the double standards that allow men to act with much greater freedom.


Beyond diversity

Women are shifting the conversations around diversity to one of intersectionality, inclusion and representation.

The conversation around diversity has moved well into the mainstream, but this conversation is now changing. Women are championing the idea of intersectionality as a more authentic representation of their lived experiences.

The term intersectionality denotes the way that different social categorisations – such as gender, race, and class – overlap and affect notions of identity. In practice, a black woman experiences women’s issues differently to the way a white woman does, and it is vital to understand and represent this. Resisting tokenistic and shallow representations of diversity means taking an intersectional perspective on the issues that affect women.


Truth to power

Women are rising up, acting as the new catalysts of change and revolution.

The #metoo movement has shaken the foundations of power, galvanising a generation of women to speak out and take action. More than ever, women who may not have previously been politically engaged are now standing up for the causes they believe in, and are at the forefront of movements for change. The leaders of today’s most revolutionary activist movements are women: March for our Lives, Black Lives Matter and Times Up.

At the heart of activism is a desire for change and revolution, and the women who are engaging with these causes are striving to affect meaningful change, whether they are on the frontline or sharing a post on Instagram.


For more in-depth insight and analysis read Kantar’s #WhatWomenWant research


published on

22 February 2019



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