Maybe 2011 is the Year of the Guy.
Back in January, we launched our Marketing To Men initiative (we’re the yin to Alan Burns’ yang), and we’ve received great feedback from radio and the advertising communities.
There’s more to men than meets the perceptual eye. And this hit home in a recent AdAge blog written by Ricardo Poupada. He featured an AskMen survey of 2,000 guys who responded to a question that asked them about who they consider their role models.
Maybe we’re moving beyond worshiping jockstraps and gravitating toward entrepreneurs as the people to emulate. Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Biz Stone, and those who have taken risks that have paid off are the envy of the world. And men are getting the message.
Some of this may be driven by the economy, but there’s something to be said for this growing trend in changing role models. Recently, The New York Times highlighted some of these entrepreneurs who started chasing their Plan Bs.
It’s not easy to start up a business especially after you’ve worked for big companies throughout your career. While being untethered from working for others promises freedom of expression, personal gratification, and free time, the truth usually tempers those temptations. The Times article points out that long hours, manual labor, feelings of isolation, and the pain of uncertainty are all part of the entrepreneurial experience.
As someone who made this step nearly three decades ago after having held great jobs for big companies – Frank Magid and ABC Radio – I can tell you that going out on my own was simultaneously the smartest thing I’ve ever done and the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
It is reassuring to learn that men are now idolizing guys like Mark Zuckerberg a bit more than they are Chad Ochocinco. It suggests that more of them will take that leap and hopefully enjoy success on their own.
Men are re-emerging, and maybe even advertisers will start getting that message, too.