Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Olympics: A Sporting Event Aimed at Women, According to the New York Times

Check out Stuart Elliott's article in today's New York Times, "Olympics Draw High Percentage of Women Viewers, and Ads Intended for Them: Appealing to mothers who want to watch with the entire family" to get an interesting look at the Olympics.

We all know the judging is imperfect -- often incompetent.

We all know the commentary can be offensive -- listening to some (esp. during diving and gymnastics) you'd think there could be no greater catastrophe than U.S. divers who "can't find horizontal" (while the Chinese can) or U.S. gymnasts who can't stick a landing.

Listening to the tone of those announcers, I wonder whether we should put the athletes on a suicide watch. How can they live with themselves, what with all the splash they made with that dive? Oh the horrors, the horrors.

But this post is not about Olympic announcing -- there are other blogs for that (check out: "Am I the only one who thinks Olympic diving announcer Cynthia Potter is the worst ever?!!?")

It's not even about We Get It Already: 14 Olympic Stories We're Tired Of Hearing from Campus Squeeze.

But the real point of this post is that the Olympics, according to the New York Times, is not a sporting event aimed at men -- at least from an advertising perspective. The Wall St. Journal says the same thing in its article about Olympic advertising, "For Olympic Marketers, Emotions Pay: Most-Liked TV Ads Feature Soft Touch; Not the Super Bowl."

It's an event that women watch with their families.

I knew this already because my wife has caught Olympic fever, and has let our children watch all kinds of events, no matter how obscure -- like handball that's an amalgam of football, basketball and rugby. She's right again, because advertisers see this as a woman-driven event; even the Times' subtitle acknowledges that my wife is right.

My perspective: it's interesting enough to watch, but better with the sound off for some of the judge-centric events like diving and gymnastics.

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