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: “I share my selfies by making it my profile picture.” —Female, 23, IL

It’s time to let go of the stereotype that men hate shopping: men are actually spending about $10 more than women on clothing and accessories each month, according to a new study. Menswear is expected to expand by 8.3% in the next year, 4.1% more than womenswear. Not surprisingly, Millennial guys are approaching their fashion and shopping differently, with males under 35-years-old more likely to purchase athletic and athleisure styles. Younger male consumers are also 27% more likely than those over 35-years-old to be influenced by sales staff. (The Muse)

Second screen marketing was one of the big trends of this Sunday’s big game, and Instagram reports that 38 million users engaged with Super Bowl content 155 million times that day. Social media vendor Engagement Labs looked at likes, comments, and clicks to see which brands were the event’s Insta-MVPs and declared Pokémon, Disney’s The Jungle Book,Squarespace, SoFi, and Acura the top five performers. Pokémon asked viewers to call out all the Pokémon references their ad in the Instagram comments, and The Jungle Bookposted a link to the full movie trailer on Instagram right after airing it on TV. (Adweek

Blend is a texting app “built for Gen Z,” with plans to use their popularity on college campuses to grow into competition for WhatsApp and iMessage. The app was created by two college drop-outs who secured $3 million in funding after the release of a controversial promotional video made the app go viral on the former students’ Michigan campus. Their biggest challenge will be retaining Millennials and teens in the crowded messaging space, and Blend is relying on their “snappy design” and focus on photos and video sharing to get them on top.
(San Francisco News

Millennials know you think they’re narcissistic—and they think so too. New research shows Millennials agree that they are more self-involved than older generations: 18-25-year-olds rated themselves a 61.4 (on a 100-point scale) for narcissism, and rated those 60 years or older at 38. However, older respondents “in particular piled on Millennials for their narcissism, while absolving their own age group,” and those 60 and older ranked Millennials as 65.3 on the narcissism scale, and put themselves at 26.5. Unsurprisingly, the study notes that Millennials don’t appreciate constantly being told they’re narcissistic. (Mental Floss

Millennials are looking for something to talk about on social media, and IfOnly is providing the exclusive experiences they can be proud to broadcast. When we first wrote about the site their target users were those with a lot more to spend, but over the past few months they’ve been adding “amazing but highly accessible” offerings—like playing with pandas at a zoo—for a broader audience, priced at $50-$125 per person. IfOnly believes that Millennials on social media will pave the way to their success: “they’re on social media channels, where it’s not fun to post about a belt but it is fun to [post a picture, saying], ‘Check me out backstage.’” (TechCrunch

Quote of the Day: “I am planning to give an iPhone 6s as a gift for this Valentine’s Day.”

—Male, 31, NY

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