In recent years, marketers have noticed a strange, unnatural trend among American men. Normally doing man things like chopping down trees, climbing ropes, and carrying 100 lbs of bison meat back to the wagon, thanks to the MANCESSION, The American Men have been doing other things like purchase goods and services. These brilliant marketers have coined these men MANFLUENCERS, because I guess we're retroactively making English into a Romance language where words have genders now. Le sigh.
MANFLUENCERS are those casualties of the MANCESSION who never got their jobs back and learned how to buy groceries and cook food because they were bored and unemployed and not assholes. Here's Qz on how MANFLUENCERS were discovered,
In focus group after focus group, Julie Murphy, an account planner at Midan Marketing, heard from under- and unemployed men who were buying and preparing most of the food in their households. Robbed of their economic potency, men were transforming themselves from chest-waxing metrosexuals into helpmates.
Smelling a trend, Midan conducted a survey that revealed that 47% of men in the US are buying most of of the groceries and doing most of the cooking in their homes. Murphy decided to call this group “Manfluencers™” in order to highlight their newfound power over purchasing decisions. (Yes, the term is trademarked.)
Here's a funny story about focus groups: I once watched three separate focus groups watch an episode of a TV show that hadn't yet aired. Like most focus groups, they were all plucked from a mall in Nevada and, like all focus groups, all of them were idiots. The all-man focus group suggested that the show they were screening would be more watchable for men if there was no pink in the logo and if there were more flames and F-words. One woman suggested getting Daniel Tosh involved. All of them were terrible suggestions. Don't listen to focus groups.
But as dumb as focus groups are, they're not as dumb as the phrase MANFLUENCER or the process by which marketers coined it. I have no idea why the fact that it is trademarked is engorging my face with rage, but here we are.
Murphy says that one of the most interesting things about the shift towards men buying groceries is that it doesn’t always mean a change in shopping habits. “Men are from Mars and women are from Venus, right? We thought [the differences in shopping habits] were going to be earth-shattering, and there would be so many differences between genders. But we found they’re very alike.”
Seventy-seven percent of manfluencers make a grocery list, 72% compare prices between stores, and 59% are surfing websites for deals and clipping coupons, “all things you wouldn’t think a man would do,” says Murphy.
You mean men... and women... are both... people? Both of them? Both people? I'm shocked.
Because of this very recent discovery — that men buy things sometimes — marketers of grocery products have started marketing products with more man-friendly packaging. You know, black. Covered in letters that look like they're stamped out of metal. With a small set of balls attached.
But this marketing shift isn't all bad. Maybe the discovery of MANFLUENCERS will mean that one day America will witness an ad for a cleaning product where a man is performing a household chore adeptly instead of comically fucking it up like a doofus.