Friday, August 6, 2010

Grrr, Baby, Very Grrr

This is a good one. I picked it up in a few places and it concerns the shopping habits of ovulating women. A new study out of the University of Minnesota, to be published in the Journal of Consumer Research, found that ovulating women unconsciously buy sexier clothes in order to outdo attractive, rival women.

The study asked ovulating women to view a series of photographs. The women looked at 1) attractive women who lived locally, 2) unattractive women who lived locally, and 3) attractive women who lived over 1,000 miles away. Then the women were asked to chose clothing and accessory items to purchase for themselves. This resulted in a majority of the women unconsciously choosing sexier products after looking at photographs of locals than non-locals.

I suppose, like most things, when you boil it down, its all about sex. In this case, its fertility. Women during ovulation are at a time of peak fertility and so chose products to enhance their appearance and beat their competition. Competition, in this case, is local women. After all, women 1,000 miles away are less likely to go after the same guy. Hopefully.

Now we get to the why-does-it-matter part of the story. Well, choosing, consumerly speaking, means buying. Buying means money. And if you are a marketer you want to know what influences women's consumer behavior. You've got millions of women, each ovulating for 5 to 6 days a month, all wanting to enhance their physical appearance. We're talking clothes, shoes, accessories, cosmetics, health supplements, fitness products, medical procedures, etc. That's a lotta cash.

I guess this explains my recent purchase of a slinky red dress.

The paper and author info can be found at

and here are some story links:
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