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Marketing machine targets urban men - Metro US

Marketing machine targets urban men

Every now and then we all have a personal revelation. Some time those moments of clarity are life-altering, other times much more simplistic, but still moving nonetheless.

My latest will undoubtedly affect my bank account.

As we creep up in age, we (hopefully) gain the ability to assess situations for what they’re really worth and perhaps grasp the value of a hard-earned dollar.

Growing up in pursuit of the urban male ideal I always thought it necessary to spend inordinate amounts of my disposable income on very well-marketed, high end products and services designed especially for men.

There’s a whole range of them: golf balls that will make you drive like Tiger, shoes that’ll make you jump like Michael, hair products that’ll help you pose like Beckham.

Then you realize the only way you’ll drive like Tiger is to get behind the wheel of the cars he promotes — still Buick, at last glance — you’ll only jump like Jordan with a trampoline and you’ll probably never have hair like Beckham, let alone the guts to sport one of his more creative styles.

In much the same way Sex And The City created the impression that an ideal lifestyle for women was one that included a downtown apartment, Manolo-laden closets and a Rolodex of eager male suitors, it’s fair to say a similar —and probably highly-fictionalized —version of urban bliss exists for the fashionable downtown-dwelling guy.

It probably includes ridiculously expensive dinners at trendy eateries, a closet full of designer suits and $300 jeans, as well as a Barbie-esque girlfriend or spouse to offer congratulations following your latest promotion in the climb up the six-figure ladder.

Oh, and $80 trips to the hairdresser.

It’s that last one that I really had the means and desire to embrace, at least up until recently.

I figured if I’m not going to have my hair for much longer I may as well treat it with the care and respect it deserves and what better way than to treat it to a little primping from a master stylist.

But perspective is a blessed virtue, and the reality is that dropping this kind of money on a man’s haircut is probably completely excessive, not to mention $30 on a specially-formulated male face cream, $600 on high-tech putter, or any other outlandish expenditure on items we’re told will make us better looking, playing — or just better — men.

This is not a rejection of the finer things: a great New York strip at a classic steakhouse is worth the money, as are regular trips to the spa, plasma screen televisions, good dress shirts and buying the odd pricey and unexpected gift for your significant other (think Manolos or Coach handbags) just to put a smile on her face.

Being able to acknowledge the rather vicious marketing machine targeted at men (although women probably have it even worse) is a good thing. Being able to avoid its clutches: priceless.

chris.atchison@metronews.ca

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