Millennials Fight for Superwomen

Though the gender gap is ever narrowing, certain industries have yet to represent women in a significant way, and the comics industry is a repeat gender offender. We see scores of films and print publications distributed that put male writers and superheroes in the thick of the action, but fail to explain where the female heroes are. To Millennial women, who are happy to declare themselves fangirls, the absence is noticeable and often infuriating. At New York’s Comic Con this year, the co-founder of Alpha Girl Comics lamented that “Wall Street does a better job” towards closing the gender gap than her own industry. Those on the “Women in Comics” panel noted that almost half of the convention’s attendants were women, yet only 6% of the special guests were females. Adding insult to injury, 20% of digital comic readership is fueled by women, illustrating a great disparity between the ripe female comics market and the current strides towards representing them. Millennials are demanding that female superheroes be put in the spotlight, and taking it upon themselves to make it happen.

The lack of women in comics is not for lack of talent, but disregard for (or utter ambivalence to) the prospect of female superheroes within the industry, with industry execs claiming “We don’t know how to sell it.” With power players refusing to put superwomen on the screen, younger illustrators are the ones taking risks in order to bring something different to comic strips. The newest character introduced to Marvel’s lineup is Kamala Khan, a Muslim teen superheroine that breaks the traditional comic mold, introducing religious affiliation and racial diversity to the standard white-male superhero spectrum. Kamala deals with all of the tropes of being a teenage girl living in a conservative household,…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“My work schedule can be hectic, so I snack on nuts, berries, or other non-deadly foods during any downtime.”

—Male, 32, KY

AwesomenessTV and fashion/beauty brands are coming together to make branded series for Gen Z. In the past, AwesomenessTV has worked with numerous brands to produce original content, including CoverGirl and Kohl’s. Now they’re planning a 24-part docu-series with Hollister called “This is Summer,” following teens’ high school journeys—while they’re clad in shoppable Hollister clothing of course. Our own Chief Content Officer explains that Ypulse has “found Gen Z to be fairly open to watching sponsored entertainment,” with 77% of 13-17-year-olds agreeing, "As long as the story is interesting, I don't mind that it is sponsored." (Glossy)

Fullscreen agrees that Gen Z is the generation that’s most receptive to branded content. Their survey found over half of Gen Z doesn’t mind even undisclosed branded content, and significantly more Gen Z teens than Millennials have engaged with social branded content (viewing photos, liking and sharing content and tagging friends) in the past six months. Influencer marketing wins out with the group, with over half of teens preferring influencer content to pre-roll, sponsored posts, banners, and traditional TV commercials. The sweet spot for advertisers may be branded video, especially when influencers are involved. (TubefilterAdweek)

Graduation spending is expected to reach a record $5.6 billion for the Class of 2017. Over half of the graduation gifts given will be cash, followed by greeting cards, gift cards, apparel, and electronic devices. Another trend for the year is more and more peers giving each other gifts, with a 6% lift year over year. Younger consumers will spend an average of $78.42 ,compared to 45-54-year-olds’ $119.84 and 65-and-over’s $112.34, and while greeting cards are also most popular, they’re also almost twice as likely to gift clothing. (ConsumerAffairs)

Instagram has the “most negative impact on young people’s mental wellbeing,” followed by Snapchat, according to a recent study. The image-centric platforms could “driv[e] feelings of inadequacy and anxiety,” and were rated the most poorly for their impacts on sleep, FOMO, and body image. Out of the top five most popular social media platforms, YouTube was the only one that earned a positive score. The silver lining? Some argue the evaluation is “blaming the medium for the message,” and social media/online communities are also Gen Z and Millennials’ top resource for learning about “mindfulness, meditation, and wellness,” according to Ypulse data. (The Guardian)

Lego is being called the “most powerful brand in the world,” beating out Google, Visa, and Nike. Brand Finance’s latest valuation report shows Lego’s brand value increased 68% over last year, looking at metrics like “familiarity, loyalty, promotion, marketing investment, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation.” At least some of the lift can be attributed to the successful movie franchise (The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie) and its strategic partnership with Star Wars.

(Business Insider)

“I kind of don't like the commercialization of fandom culture…However, creating licensed products is one way a brand could interact.”

—Male, 24, MO

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