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 really want to visit Tokyo, Japan to see the culture behind the growth of video games, and to eat the food.”—Male, 29, MA

Millennials are ruling music streaming when compared to Gen X and Boomers. A new survey by U.K. streaming service Electric Jukebox shows that 16% of 14-34-year-olds have active subscriptions, compared to 6% of 35-55-year-olds, and 3% of 55 and older. Although they have far more time and spending power, streaming services may currently be too complex for older consumers. In fact, 40% of young Gen X, 42% of old Gen X, and 49% of Boomers choose CDs and radio as the easier option over streaming, while almost half of 18-24-year-olds chose streaming over radio and CDs. (Music Ally

A mom of two has gone viral for her happy Chewbacca video, which has become Facebook Live’s most-watched clip ever. Last week, Candace Payne utilized the platform’s new live feature to show off her latest purchase from Kohl’s: a Star WarsChewbacca mask. Her enthusiasm and infectious laugh generated about 101 million views and got the retailer’s attention. Kohl’s teamed up with social agency Huge to deliver piles of Star Wars toys and $2,500 in Kohl’s gift cards to the micro-famous mom as thanks for her loyalty. (Adweek

In an effort to attract Millennial investors, Starbucks has issued a $500 million U.S. corporate bond for sustainable projects. The sustainability bond is the first for the coffee brand, and will go towards supporting programs for farmers in coffee-growing regions. Last year, Starbucks promised to plant up to one million trees for every coffee bag purchased, which drew in a new group of socially conscious investors. Their latest strategy will continue to strengthen their bond with 18-24-year-olds consumers, who account for 40% of the company’s sales. According to Accenture, Millennials will accumulate some $30 trillion from the generations before them, making them a target market for investors. (Fortune

What’s the secret to beauty box subscriptions’ success? Millennials. Services like Birchbox and GLOSSYBOX have resonated with curious young consumers who are looking for new beauty products and “love the idea of self-indulgence.” Subscription brands have attracted Millennials through social media social influencers. Vloggers’ “unboxing videos” pull in a substantial audience, with one such video receiving 100,000 views in a few days. Male-focused subscription boxes like Harry’s and Dollar Shave Club have also found success with Millennial men for their value and convenience. (Mic

The Great Recession may have caused financial instability, but it didn’t stop “foodie” culture. While dining-out expenditures dipped slightly between 2007 to 2008, they quickly rebounded in 2012, even though income levels had not. Although Millennials especially felt the effects of the recession, they have been linked to the “sustainability of the ‘foodie’ ideology.” To get through the financial crises, Millennials opted to consume experiences instead of expensive material goods like houses or cars. As a result, food has become part of the new status symbols and acts as a form of “social currency.” (Eater

Quote of the Day: “The most important part of prom is the honor of being asked by an upperclassmen.”—Male, 15, NY

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