15 Gender Stereotypes Young Women Wish Advertisers Would Stop Using

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

Wondering how to reach Millennial & Gen Z females today? We asked 13-35-year-olds all about gender stereotypes...

In the past few years, the growing feminist movement has reached mass acceptance among Millennials and Gen Z: 63% of 18-34-year-old women call themselves feminists, according to the Washington Post, and in the wake of #MeToo, the movement is only getting stronger. Many 13-35-year-old females want to change the representation and perception of women, and there are implications for brands. Mainly, young consumers are putting pressure on brands to make their marketing less “girly” and more gender-neutral. Just last week, a Twitter storm hit PepsiCo when their C.E.O divulged the details behind their plans to create chips more suited for women in an episode of Freakonomics Radio. “Lady Doritos” started to trend on social media soon after, with many women sarcastically pointing out that instead of equal pay or an end to sex discrimination, they were getting their own chips.

Despite Doritos calling the reports “inaccurate,” the swift backlash just goes to show that Gen Z and Millennial females are fed up with gender profiling and want brands to do better. The Genreless Generation is demanding that more brands embrace the gender blur, with nearly eight in ten 13-33-year-olds saying it’s ok for girls to be masculine and for guys to be feminine and over half of 13-35-year-olds recently telling us that brands shouldn’t consider gender at all when targeting messages. 

To get a better sense of exactly what tropes they wish would disappear, we asked 13-35-year-old females, “What is one stereotype about your gender you wish advertisers would stop using?”* Here are their top 15 answers:

*These were open-end response questions to allow us to capture the full range of gender stereotypes…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“I eat [Pizza Hut] least two times per month; it's one of my favorite places to go to eat pizza.”—Male, 35, VA

More Millennials are asking for cash wedding registries, and it’s bad news for stores like Bed Bath & Beyond and Williams Sonoma. Increasingly, young couples are asking guests to contribute towards their nest egg, travel, or anything they feel like buying themselves. Companies like Zola and Honeypot have boomed in popularity, offering a personalized platform for their cash registries. However, their success with wedding registries is taking “a key customer acquisition tool” away from home décor stores. (Insider)

The beauty industry is catering to Customization Nation, as more companies crop up to blend unique beauty products for each customer. But can the trend scale? Truly personalized products, like the ones offered by hair care start-up Function of Beauty and makeup company Bite Beauty, take time and resources. But companies that offer base products with just a personalized element or two could be the future of the industry. And big-name brands are getting their feet wet too: Lancôme and CoverGirl have both offered custom-made foundations. (Glossy)

Nordstrom is taking risks to survive retail’s big shifts. Instead of shuttering stores, they’re opening experimental retail locations, revamping their department stores, and making their mark in Manhattan with their first store openings. The long-standing brand also bought ecommerce site HauteLook and the subscription service Trunk Club. So far, their risk-taking hasn’t proved to be a boon to their bottom line—but only time will tell. (WSJ)

Hollister is teaming up with AwesomenessTV to reach Gen Z with a YouTube series. “The Carpe Life” will be a part of a broader campaign, which includes influencer marketingand appeals to young consumers’ love for active, adventurous lifestyles. "The Carpe Life" follows Hollister's first YouTube series, “This is Summer” which “boosted key brand metrics by double digits,” adding on to their overall positive impact on Abercrombie & Fitch’s rising bottom line. (Marketing Dive)

Netflix is switching its strategy, putting less money into “prestige films” for the Post-TV Gen. Instead, they’re churning out more direct-to-video releases. Last year, they bought ten titles at Sundance while this year they had none. While they continue to create original content like the recent The Cloverfield Paradox, they’re betting on less-than-award-worthy films to maintain their hold on Millennial viewers. (The Atlantic)

“Basically if I found out any brand was supporting causes I do not support and actively oppose, I will avoid buying their products.”—Female, 27, CA

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