Staff Reporters
Aug 12, 2010

Does Bauer Media’s four dimensional man exist in Asia?

Does Bauer Media’s new male demographic - 4 dimensional man - really exist in Asia? We've asked Jonathan Sanchez (pictured left), brand marketing director at Edelman Asia-Pacific, and Howard Smith (pictured right), managing director at PHD Singapore.

Jonathan Sanchez (Edelman) and Howard Smith (PHD)
Jonathan Sanchez (Edelman) and Howard Smith (PHD)

What is your idea/interpretation of a 4D man?

JS: At Edelman we speak about ActionGraphics — a process which identifies groups based on what they do, so a 50 year-old woman can have a social media connection with a 20 year-old woman sharing a love of Farmville, Twilight or women's issues online. Digital democracy is just that — the age of demographic segmentation looks distinctly Victorian.

HS: I think that the 4D man was coined to suggest that men still read magazines and that magazines are more engaging than blogs (and the social web).

Does the 4D man exist in Asia?

JS: The 4D man does exist in Asia if the four D's are 'Depth, Destiny, Drive and Delivery'. I'm not sure the 4D man 'who is scared to download a Kate Perry single' exists in Asia. In my experience, Asian men on and offline don't seem to struggle from this type of identity insecurity.

HS: The 4D man does not exist. Period.  Men in general don’t appreciate being segmented.

Which medias/channels would the 4D man subscribe to?

JS: Given that I don’t really see who this man is - I’m not sure. But you’ll know that Asia is a broad and diverse geography unlike the, at times, homogenous US or ‘Old Europe’ - so to define media consumption based on this concept might not be the best fit. I expect Bauer will tell us all 4D men read their publications though.

HS: The social web most likely.

How does the media portray masculinity in Asia?

JS: I think men in Japan have different role models to men in Indonesia. This is such a broad question, how can anyone rationally answer it?

HS: Different mediums portray masculinity differently, depending on what they are selling.

Do marketer definitions of masculinity in Asia differ from those in the West?

JS: Yes.

HS: We should strive to take the definition out of masculinity, it's not something to define, it's the individual.

Which brands appeal to the 4D man? Why?

JS: From the way the research is summarised you’d imagine shaving brands, fast cars and loose women - which seems a somewhat niche approach for the region. But we’re a broad church here in Asia, there’s something for everyone.

HS: Any brand that appeals to him - if he really exists.


This article was originally published in the 29 July 2010 issue of Media.

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