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…


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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “My biggest financial priority right now is to pay off my car loan and afford a wedding of about $50,000.“ – Female, 29, NJ

Facebook is getting more emotional. The platform is adding Reactions, a new set of emoji icons that allow users to convey emotions beyond “Like,” including “Sad,” “Angry,” and “Wow.” Facebook’s director of monetization product marketing says the buttons will help brands, “understand on a multi-dimensional level how people are feeling about the things that they're posting." (AdAge)

Parents are currently told that children under two-years-old should have no screen time—a pretty unrealistic tip for modern, mobile Millennial caregivers. But the American Academy of Pediatrics may be updating that advice to keep up with the times. A reported 30% of children in the U.S. first play with mobile devices while they’re still in diapers, and the AAP now says that “in a world where screen time is becoming simply  ‘time,’ our policies must evolve or become obsolete.” (Washington Post)

Amazon is already Millennials’ favorite place to shop online or off, and now the e-commerce giant has launched an Etsy rival. Amazon’s new Handmade platform will bring together creators of artisan, “factory-free” goods, launching with 5,000 sellers. Creators must be vetted by Amazon to ensure products are handmade, and some items will be eligible for Amazon Prime. (The Daily BeastFortune)

With more Millennials delaying marriage, more twentysomethings are not going to weddings—but that doesn’t mean they have to miss out on the party. Falsa Boda is a company throwing fake weddings for Argentinian Millennials who want to attend a wedding, without the hassle of actually getting married. The parties include all the elements of a wedding ceremony and reception, including a couple that re-enacts marriage vows. (BuzzFeed)

A new category of toys is combining the power of children's imagination with the amplifying magic of technology, to appeal to a generation of kids for whom “real-world activities can seem unexciting." Disney’s new augmented reality coloring book pairs with a tablet to make the characters and kids' drawing come to life in 3D and in real-time, taking their physical play and creating a digital enhancement. (Marketing Magazine)

Quote of the Day: “When I turn 14 soon I can get a job if I want and start saving for my first car with that money and the money I make on eBay.” –Male, 13, FL

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