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Creating great advertising for the Gen X Woman is achieved so rarely because we forget about her.

For one thing, media buyers tend to allocate only 5-10% of their budget toward women 35-54, (which is considered part of Gen X), and spend toward 18-34-year-olds instead. For another, creative budgets targeting this “invisible” demographic are also small. But is this strategy wise now that women 50+ have more than $15 trillion in spending power? Perhaps it’s time for more brands to rethink their strategy.

These facts and more can be found in last month’s Adweek, “Consumer Brands are Leaving Trillions of Dollars Behind by Ignoring Women Over 40.” She also writes, “When you turn 40 (which I recently did), you fall off of marketers’ radars and media plans entirely, into an abyss of invisibility—at least until it’s time to sell you Prevagen.”

Nielsen agrees: “Although a smaller population than Boomers and Millennials, Gen X’s tendency toward affluence, technological savvy and brand loyalty make them unique characters in the marketplace.” (“Reaching Generation X: Authenticity in Advertising”).

Research also suggests that “approximately 78% of women will reward brands that include age diversity in advertising. If Gen X women are statistically more likely to remain loyal to the brands that reflect them — why aren’t brands reflecting them? (Marketing to Gen X Women – It’s Not that Complicated!” by Melanie Forstall.


The researchers at ABX Advertising Benchmark Index decided to search for top-scoring ad creative over the last 12 months for this forgotten demographic – in TV and OLV. It was not easy to identify many because most scored average or below. But we found enough to highlight five splendid examples below. We also compared these ads for women 35-54 to those 18-34 to see if they were successful with the intended audience. And they were.

Metrics used were the ABX Index™, which correlates highly with sales and other business outcomes, and which is calculated from several of the fourteen KPIs ABX measures for every ad. Also used is the ABX Gender Equality Index™ (GEI), which is the gold-standard for gender equality measurement, and which powers the SeeHer Gender Equality Measure®.

Creating Great Advertising for the Gen X Woman:  Five Key Tips

All five ads scored in the Top 1% for the Gen X woman out of  all 440,000 ads evaluated by ABX to date. Women 18-34 scored them considerably lower, but well enough to gain some attention from this group too. The ABX Index norm is 100.

Please note: The term, “Gen X,” is use to describe the women featured in the ads. The term, “Women 35-54,” applies to the ABX metrics shown in the scorecards.

Tip 1: Speak about current realities with honesty and candor.

Dove“By 2025, Artificial Intelligence is predicted to generate 90% of online content.” (Click to see Ad).

The ad below is exquisite, conveying that real women are beautiful just as they are, at any age. And Dove promises to never alter their images through AI. Most people are nervous about AI in advertising, so Dove is smart to address it. This ad scored an exceptional ABX Index of 143 (top 1%)

In contrast, the ad was scored 24% lower (108) by women 18-34. This confirms Dove reached its target audience. Of note are the ABX Gender Equality Index scores of 126 and 127, and the Reputation score of 273. Reputation and Action are influenced by the gender scores).

Dove ad about Ai and true beauty won highst score of 143

ABX scorecard for Dove ad about AI - Top 1% of ABX ads


Tip 2:  Feature diverse Gen X characters and their individuality.

T J MAXX“Which you do you want to be today?” (Click here for Ad)

This fun, spunky ad also scored an ABX Index of 136, with high Brand Awareness, Message, Reputation and Action. It features Gen X women trying on new clothes and prancing around in their individual styles. Women 18-34 rated it 14% lower (117), but still at a good score. T J Maxx certainly reached the Gen X Woman with this carefully targeted and very creative spot.

TJ Maxx great ad with Gen X women trying on clothes and feeling great. ABX Index 136.

ABX Scorecard for TJ Max ad.


Tip 3:  Take a calm, safe approach in advertising to the Gen X woman.

Amazon – “Spring Deal Days are Approaching” – (Click here for Ad)

Here is a sweet, gentle ad that shows a Gen X woman waiting to give an Amazon gift to her beau. But will he come? One can feel her worry as she waits, and her relief when he arrives. Neither say a word, but their joy as he accepts her package is palpable. This ad scored a very high ABX Index of 136 for women 35-54, and 124 (9% lower) from women 18-34.  Amazon’s creative worked well across the board in all KPIs. Both the male and female characters in this ad earned gender equality scores of 122. This meant they presented themselves well, with respect and appropriateness, and as role models.

Amazon ad featuring a woman 35-54 waiting for her beau to give him a gift. He arrives and is delighted.

ABX Index score for this Amazon Ad is 136, very high.


Tip 4: Address issues and situations of concern to the Gen X Female in an authentic way.

Amazon Alexa – “Introducing Alexa Emergency Assist” – (Click here for Ad)

This ad shows the power of Amazon Alexa Emergency Assist in three situations: a child who had wandered off; a mother who urgently needed an EpiPen; and an older couple whose lives were saved from a house fire. In every case, the Amazon Alexa Emergency Assist solved the problem.

Females 35-54 scored this ad at an ABX Index of 131, while 18-24 gave it a 117, which was 11% lower. Brand Awareness could have been stronger. Perhaps showing “Alexa Emergency Assist” and “Amazon” text in earlier screens. The characters all scored very high in the ABX GEI.

Amazon ad with ABX Index of 131 - in Top 1%.


Tip 5: Take a non-sterotypical approach to Gen X women in advertising.

Dove – “9 out of 10 women feel pressured to conform to social hair rules” – (Click here for Ad)

Dove hits another home run with its honest look at an issue that plagues women of all ages – how their hair looks. The diverse female cast shows solutions and earns exceptionally high ABX GEI scores of 125. The ad is upbeat, fun, and non-stereotypical. It is rewarded with an ABX Index of 131 for women 35-54 compared to a 108 (-16%) for females 18-34. Brand Awareness and Message are strong and drive the other KPIs.

Dove - 1 in 10 women feel pressured to conform to social hair rules.



Creating great advertising for the Gen X Woman can be achieved with a bit of inspiration and insight.

The “invisible” Gen X Woman is purchasing automobiles and first-time homes. She’s obtaining mortgages and business loans. She’s feeding her new baby and family. She’s setting up offices, working out and buying products that make her feel beautiful. And so much more.

She’s hungry for attention. She wants to see ads with people who look like her. And she will buy your products if you commit to producing great creative with some of the tips above.

And, while targeting Gen X, you can also attract some Millennials who scored the ads above at least above average.

Who is ABX?

ABX Advertising Benchmark Index (, is a techno-research company focused on driving ROAS & ROI through its Global Integrated Single Solution. Its Global Multi Media/Channel Platform enables a marketer to evaluate the effectiveness of all their creative across all media types, competitors, geographies, ethnicities and more.

Our solutions are designed by the Visionaries, Inventors, and Pioneers and inventors who helped create the methodologies used by legacy marketing research firms. Other valuable consumer data is also available for making informed, time-sensitive business decisions.

Contact Information:

Written by: Angela Jeffrey, ABX Vice President Brand Management

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