Nov 10 2011 8:05am

Romance Novels Help Women Do the Tighten Up

How do you market intimate products to women in a very conservative country? Through romance novels, of course, CreamGlobal reports:

A feminine hygience wash sold in Malaysia, which is a predominantly conservative Muslim country, couldn’t distinguish itself amongst its competitors and market effectively to married women aged 20 to 40 years old, who are its target demographic (The wash—named Sumber Ayu—promises a “tightening” benefit, so you can see how this type of marketing campaign might be problematic).

The average Malaysian Muslim woman marries as early as 16, with special licence. Muslim Malay men can marry up to four wives, which means a Malay wife has more competition. Perhaps not coincidentally, a typical Malay romance novel sells an average of 550k copies annually.

So Sumber Ayu began to market via romance novels, branding certain titles with their name and the tagline “Merapatkan Keintiman” (trans: closer intimacy). They distributed bookmarks and placed ads in the books, and the initial run sold out in a month, and Sumber Ayu’s sales took off.

It’s great to know that women even in very conservative countries can still get their romance on.

Have you bought anything because it was cited in a romance novel?

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K.M. Jackson
1. kwanawrites
I have not but very smart of them and that commercial is a crack up. That poor loose women.
2. Ai
I think this is an Indonesian commercial, not Malaysian.

First of all, the commercial's language is not Malay. It is in Indonesian. (Yes, we do have the same root).

Second, the star is not a Malaysian too. She's a famous Indonesian soap opera actress.

However, it's a nice article though. I don't know what happens in Malaysia but I never find that kind of commercial in a romance novel here.
Megan Frampton
4. MFrampton
@Ai: I did a search on the product, since I couldn't link from the original article, so you are likely right it is not Malaysian, but Indonesian.
The article does refer to Malaysia, but apologies for the wrong ad. Thanks for letting us know! If I can find a Malaysian sub, I'll swap it out.
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