Boy shorts are one thing, but Y-front underwear for women? That’s not attractive. However, Jockey is betting that women want to look androgenous or downright manly, so the company is launching Y-front underpants for women. The Y-front offers no utility, but it does de-feminize the wearer. Hmmm…. I think this is going to be a hard sell.
There are several forms of gender branding, and the androgenous brand is popular for a number of consumer products brands such as Old Navy and Calvin Klein. But clearly there is a line that a brand can cross when androgyny becomes less interesting and just plain ugly. In short, just because a product attribute is popular for one gender, does not mean it will be equally popular for the opposite gender.
I suppose you can look at it this way. There was that scene in the Charlie’s Angels movie where Cameron Diaz danced in Underoos, so perhaps the new Y-front women’s Jockey underpants will become a short term fad that high school girls might embrace. However, I have to believe that the majority of women, even those who like “practical” underwear, would steer clear of the Y-front Jockey. At the very least, the extremely small segment of consumers who will come to love and advocate the Y-front Jockey underpants for women are just that — a small group.
Certainly, there is a better way for the Jockey brand to connect with women consumers. Rather than trying to turn them into men, how about helping them feel more like the amazing women they are by offering products that make them feel great and look great? Perhaps that’s just too simple.
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