Chapter 15. Real men don’t eat quiche (but they do moisturize)

Sony created a TV ad for its Bravia line of liquid-crystal-display (LCD) televisions that offers different endings to men and women. The spot shows a man and a woman gazing through a storefront window at a Bravia LCD. Unaware of each other, the two simultaneously whisper: “Nice picture.” Suddenly, two buttons appear on the screen that read: “Ending for Men” and “Ending for Women.” The male ending is either a funny clip from a sports show or a cartoon spoof of a martial-arts movie. Women see either a 1950s-era musical centered on shoes or a tear-jerker about a female doctor who saves the life of an orphan.

Sexual identity is an important component of a consumer’s self-concept. People ...

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