Are You an Above-Average Joe?

Jun 18, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Spike TV, which bills itself as a network for men, has conducted research on this frequently misunderstood gender to help the network and its advertisers better reach an often elusive demographic.
The study, conducted with research companies Social Technologies and Penn, Schoen & Berland, took a look at how men 18 to 49 feel about fatherhood and family, politics, relationships, role models, stress, technology and women.
“We wanted to check the pulse of American guys to be better able to understand their lifestyles, their daily habits and values,” said Kimberly Maxwell, senior director of brand and consumer research.
Ms. Maxwell said the research builds upon Spike’s 2004 “Guy’s State of the Union,” which delivered a wide-ranging overview of guys’ lives.
One finding was that most of these men could be put into five segments, each with a cool label.
“We wanted to bring the research to life so that Spike could put it to use internally and with their partners,” said Chris Carbone, senior analyst at Social Technologies. “By creating personas—or fictionalized representations of different types of guys—we were able to achieve that and put a human face on the survey data to communicate the findings in a compelling way.”
The five categories, or personas, are:
– Young Carefrees, representing 23% of the guys. These guys are living out their post-college and early career years, and in many ways have yet to hit their stride, the study says. Seven in 10 are single, and they are the least likely to have kids. They are less successful than they thought they’d be at this point in life, but are optimistic about the future. Having grown up with technology, these guys are digital natives who often take advances like Facebook and iPhones for granted.
“These guys are incredibly friend-focused, more than any other segment. Nearly eight in 10 say spending time with friends is their favorite way to relax and 88% say they make time for friends regardless of other commitments,” Ms. Maxwell said.
The Carefrees will be taking steps toward defining themselves. “Friends will remain important,” Mr. Carbone said, “but these guys may start to shed some of the people on the fringes of their social circle.”
– Above-Average Joes, who represent 29% of men. Above-Average Joes were the most progressive segment in terms of their views on masculinity and their roles in the family. They are more likely than any other group to be married, and many have children. They are thriving in their roles as modern husbands and fathers, and working hard to create a positive work/life balance, the network said. They’re not tech junkies—but they do look to tech devices to help them stay connected to their families.
“This segment represents guys who have really embraced the progressive view of masculinity. The Joes feel that a man should be an equal partner in a relationship and live that out at home. They see that having two sources of income is an attractive option,” Ms. Maxwell said.
– Good Ol’ Boys, 13% of men. This is the segment most likely to maintain traditional values of masculinity: rugged, stoic and pragmatic. While likely to be single, one-third have kids, and their values shape their relationships with their partners and kids, as well as the kind of leisure and entertainment they engage in. They prefer that their wives don’t earn significantly more than they do.
The Good Ol’ Boys have a stereotypical male point-of-view when it comes to humor, and their appetite for extreme content is far beyond that of other segments, the network said. They are less likely than any of the other segments to say that there is too much swearing or violence on TV.
“These guys also have a distinctly DIY approach to life,” Ms. Maxwell said.
Mr. Carbone said these men are in one of the lower-income segments and will be closely watching signs of recession and recovery.
– Mac Daddies, representing 20% of guys. These guys lead busy lives, juggling work, home, hobbies and activities—but they wouldn’t have it any other way, the network said. They are comfortable with nontraditional “guy” behaviors: They enjoy shopping, and they care about their looks more than other guys. They have some of the longest working hours and highest incomes, with great passion for both sports and technology.
“These guys are in-shape, high-powered achievers,” Ms. Maxwell said. “The Mac Daddies are also really into technology. Ninety percent feel their tech products say a lot about who they are, and 60% think technology helps reduce their stress.”
– Worry Warriors, representing 15% of men. Life is hard on these guys—or so they think, the network said. About 40% of Worry Warriors are married, and even though they’re well off and well-educated, they feel life is harder now than it was for their dads—whether in terms of achieving financial success, finding role models or simply coping with daily stress. Only about one-third of the Worry Warriors report being more successful than they thought they’d be at this stage in life.
“These guys are educated and have money, and it’s easy to see them rethinking things as age and experience give them greater perspective on life,” Mr. Carbone said.
While Spike has male viewers in each of these segments, the ones with money are most likely to tune in. The network’s research found that 50% of Mac Daddies said they had watched Spike in the past 30 days, as did 45% of the Worry Warriors. They were followed by the Good Ol’ Boys at 39%, Young Carefrees at 38% and Above Average Joes at 35%.

Your Comment

Email (will not be published)