Opinion

Condescending GIO advert makes women look stupid

After watching GIO’s ‘You Know With GIO’ campaign, Debbie O'Connor became frustrated with its portrayal of 'clueless' women.

In a world where glass ceilings are still so prevalent and industries are notorious for undermining and underestimating the power, intelligence and determination of women, it is disappointing to see one of our largest insurance companies’ opinion of women.

It appears that GIO sees women as stupid, uneducated fools that have no idea what insurance they may or may not have. In their recent ‘You Know With GIO’ campaign, which aired prolifically during the Monday screening on Seven of The Mentor, GIO has an advert which is both condescending and undermining to women.

I can imagine how the situation unfolded…

The marketing team (or Leo Burnett to be precise) was called in to brainstorm areas of customer concern or pain points, and then to problem solve these with solutions that GIO can provide the client.

With painstaking research they discover that most people don’t know what they are covered for. Bingo, they have a strategy. This all seems perfectly harmless, and quite frankly, it’s standard marketing practice.

However, it is in the execution of the advert that the GIO marketers have fallen far from the mark. GIO replied to a tweet of mine saying “it’s [the advert] designed to be an education piece based on the insight that many people may not know what they are covered for.”

The problem with this is that the ‘many people’ in the advert only appear to be somewhat dazed, unsure, confused women. Not a single man was shown not knowing what they are covered for.

Gender bias? Absolutely.

Condescending towards women? Without a doubt.

Perhaps GIO should look further into their ‘insight’ to determine exactly how many women are organising insurance. I would imagine there would be a fair amount of us. Which means that their condescending brand is insulting the very customers they are trying to attract.

Now I’m sure that the advert appears in many time slots, however I find the positioning of the advert during a small business program interesting.

Clearly GIO has done their research and gained from the 2016 census that more women are starting and running businesses than ever before. And no, we are not all helpless, unknowing, pathetic souls who have no idea about our insurance.

If your clients are unclear of what they are covered for, GIO, perhaps you should look at how you are communicating with them.

As a business owner of two companies, the decision maker on our home and content insurance and the one who manages our investment property insurance, I can assure you that I will make a very educated decision not to support a brand that undermines women.

The omission of depicting a clueless man in your advert screams loud and clear to the nation that GIO believes that only men know about insurance.

Debbie O’Connor is an internationally award winning brand strategist, keynote speaker and mentor.

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