Today there is no longer a general, self-evident image of how men should appear. While in earlier generations a clear male image defined the roles and duties men were supposed to fulfill, what men had to do and not do, and above all how men were supposed to behave, the male image today is fuzzy and diffuse. The image is particularly problematic when it comes to men's dealings with women: should men appear striking or full of understanding, pay the bill at restaurants or not, set the tone or conform to the desires of their partner?
A rheingold study distinguishes six types of men, who are all torn between two incompatible images and standards. Typical male coping patterns help shed light on different male target groups. In addition, the study shows strategic paths for developing general advertising images that are in a position to appeal to many or all male target groups.