Overcoming Gender-Based Toy Marketing One Advertisement At A Time

Many kids grow up thinking that pink is for girls and blue is for boys, as the picture below shows. Dolls, princesses, and beauty related toys are typically marketed to girls, whereas building sets, cars, and action figures are mostly advertised to boys. However, such stereotypical marketing can have negative effects, providing children with narrow views of what it means to be a girl or a boy. Brands and marketers have received much criticism in the past few years for perpetuating these traditional constructions of gender, however, others are slowly seeking to change this problem. One of our Youth Advisory Board members, Julia Tanenbaum, weighs in on this subject, highlighting areas of frustration and where progress is being made. 

Overcoming Gender-Based Toy Marketing One Advertisement At A Time

Pink and Blue ToysDespite conventional wisdom that today’s children can pursue whatever career or lifestyle they please without their gender impairing their ability to succeed, the toys we raise them with send a completely different message. This year has given us toys like Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood “award” nominated LEGO Friends Butterfly Beauty Shop, which shows girls that they can only learn engineering principles when their materials are pink beauty supplies and they can “get primped and pretty” instead of, say, building. Although LEGO has received much attention for its offensive gender marketing, children are constantly bombarded with toys espousing equally damaging messages. Bratz dolls and Barbies teach girls to focus on their appearance and aspire to be stick thin, while Nerf guns and military themed toys inspire boys to be violent and active, with little scope for nurturing or creativity. These toys and their limiting messages are bad enough in themselves, but they are just part of…

 
 
Ask Millennials some questions.
Log in to get started...

Want to talk to us about the article
or dive into a custom study?


Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without buying something and watching holiday movies.” –Female, 29, CA 

Yesterday news that Budweiser would be dropping their traditional Clydesdales in order to appeal to Millennials made the rounds—but the brand says not so fast. In response to the rumors, Budweiser has released their “drink responsibly” ad featuring the iconic horses “earlier than planned” and tweeted that they “aren’t going anywhere.” But they are giving the campaign a twist that could appeal to young consumers, partnering with LYFT to give holiday partiers safe rides home in Boston with the help of the Clydesdales. (Brand Channel)

The appeal of toy unboxing videos may be a mystery to some, but they’re viewed millions and millions of times on YouTube, and Disney wants a piece of that popularity. In case you’ve missed it, these videos consist of opening up toys and talking about what’s in them. The brand’s Maker Studios has signed five toy unboxing digital stars, including HobbyKidsTV, DisneyCarToys, and ToyReviewToys. However, the most popular unboxing channel, DC Toys Collector, who generated 104 million views last week, was not included. (Recode)

Totino’s is continuing their weird, weird marketing campaign to appeal to young consumers’ absurdist humor. In a follow up to “the oddest pizza ad ever,” the brand has taken a BuzzFeed post called "50 Completely Unexplainable Stock Photos No One Will Ever Use" and turned each one into an off-the-wall bizarre ad. They’ve posted the entire collection on their site with the explanation, “We obviously had no choice but to use them. Poorly.” (Adweek)

What influences teen drinking behavior? Recent research has found that ”close friends” are far more influential than the “broader peer group” when it comes to teen alcohol use. This means the idea of  “everyone thinking that everyone else (in a whole school, say) is drinking a lot” being a reason behind drinking might not hold as much water. (NYMag)

The next-generation is growing up hyper-monitored from the cradle, but it’s possible that the high tech baby monitors that have become more and more common don’t actually offer benefits. Onesies and other items that track babies heartbeats and body metrics might be offering parents “false reassurance,” as they haven’t been proven to work. However, makers of those products say that new parents are buying them not to combat specific health issues but for peace of mind. (Mashable)

The Ypulse Back-To-School Special Report is here! The holidays might be starting, but we know retailers, marketers and brand managers are already planning for next year's big shopping seasons. To deliver a forward looking perspective, we surveyed high school and college students throughout 2014, combed that data for insights, and compiled all of the must-know data into a rich BTS special report. Gold subscribers can access the full report and data in the My Documents section of Ypulse.com. One-off pricing for this report is $1,250, contact us here. (Ypulse)

Sign Up Now

Subscribe for premium access to our content, data, and tools.

Already a subscriber? Sign in.

Upgrade Now

Upgrade for full access to the best marketing tools for understanding the next generation.

View our Client Case Studies