What Women Want

Hitachi resurrects 1960s marketing for a new millenium

December 31, 2005

1 Min Read
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4:30 PM -- Call me old-fashioned -- or maybe just old -- but I still believe in gender equality. So my boomer-bred hackles went up this week when Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (Hitachi GST) characterized its new 6-gig mini hard drive as a "girl's best friend."

In a survey for the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Hitachi says 1,600 "adults" -- no word on how many men versus women participated -- voted Hitachi's Microdrive 3K6 a "winner" among women for its "great picture quality and the ability to easily share photos."

"The Microdrive as a girl's best friend makes absolute sense, because it allows women to keep so much of what means most to us at hand to share and treasure," said Becky Smith, the company's vice president, marketing and strategy, in the press release.

Now, what makes women treasure their photos and music any more than men do? Where I work, more men than women are opening their wallets for a look-see at Precious -- whoever, or whatever, that may be.

What's more, why wouldn't a woman be just as likely looking to clear one of Hitachi's 500-Gbyte, 3-Gbit/s SATA drives with her CIO, as gawking over photos of Junior's soccer championship with a Microdrive?Yes, I know we're talking the consumer market here, not the gender gap in IT. Nonetheless, Hitachi's effort at '60s-style cutesiness highlights the elephant in the living room. Further, by attempting to attract more women buyers, the company just insults the intelligence of people looking to buy its stuff.

Mary Jander, Site Editor, Byte and Switch

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