I didn’t actually have business with Twitter (although I did enjoy tweeting: ‘I’m ON Twitter and I’m IN Twitter’, which felt a bit meta). But Twitter HQ in London was the venue for a ‘Comedy and Confidence for Creatives’ event run by Funny Women.
It started with two short comedy workshops (well, it’s good to get out of your comfort zone sometimes), in one of which we were asked to brainstorm on ‘Love – Hate – Wish’. My response: ‘I love Twitter. I hate Twitter. I wish Twitter didn’t hate women.’ (And yes, that is probably the first and last time I will recommend a Spectator article.)
The workshops were followed by a panel discussion and some actual stand-up comedy. During the discussion, we heard that humour is the most important element of an ad for UK audiences, but ads featuring only women use comedy less than half as often as ads featuring only men (22% vs 51%). We also found out, courtesy of Kantar’s AdReaction research on gender bias, that most marketers think they’re doing a good job of avoiding gender stereotypes in advertising, but almost half of consumers disagree.
Another panellist, Jane Evans, founder of the rather wonderful Uninvisibility Project, spoke about ageism in advertising: ‘Women over 50 buy 47% of everything. But no-one speaks to us.’
And while we’re on the subject of ageism, what is it with young men working in digital media? ‘Come and learn from my old age and experience,’ said one on LinkedIn this week (and he’s by no means alone in saying this sort of thing). Look at his biography and he’s obviously a ‘millennial’. What sort of message does that send about those of us who aren’t?