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: “Music plays a very important part in my life, especially since Beyoncé is my favorite artist. Her music helps me get through things.” –Male, 14, IL 

Millennials’ wanderlust is no secret, and Ypulse’s May monthly survey found that 72% of 13-32-year-olds are interested in travel. How they travel may be different from previous generations though. A study by Marriott Rewards Credit Card found that 84% of 18-34-year-olds would travel to participate in volunteer activities, compared to 68% of Xers and 51% of Boomers. Younger travelers are also more likely to seek out adventurous activities, and cultural hot spots. (Business Wire)

Short-form video has become more important than ever, and “YouTube alone” may not be enough to capture Millennial and teens’ attention. Short content like six-second Vine videos appeal to young consumers who are overwhelmed with content options, and want to easily share what they see. Brands that create “succinct, punchy, and memorable” clips can stand out—4% of the top 100 tracked Vine videos is already branded content. (Marketing Magazine)

Taco Bell and Pizza Hut are going “natural” to appeal to health-conscious young consumers. The chains have announced that they’ll be eliminating artificial colors and chemical ingredients from menus in the coming months, including dyes and high fructose corn syrup. The move continues the trend of big food brands incorporating fresher and less processed ingredients, and attempting to appeal to Millennials’ dining preferences. (Mashable)

It’s graduation season, which means that thousands of diploma-toting Millennials will be coming face to face with their student loan debt. Earnest is a startup that wants to help them deal with it, and navigate a system that “isn’t built right.” The site helps members to refinance and manage all of their loans to reduce their payments and create a payment schedule in just a few clicks. (Fast Company)

Minecraft has become wildly popular with young consumers, so it only makes sense that other brands would want a piece of their virtual building action. Lego may be building a Minecraft rival, called “Lego Worlds” where players can create and explore a digital universe made, we would assume, with Legos. Speculation is that more information about the project, which has only been spotted on current Lego instructions, could come out at next month’s E3 conference. (The Next Web)

Are Millennials and teens watching more streaming than cable? Our tracked data trends have all the stats on that, thanks to our monthly survey of 1000 13-32-year-olds nationwide. Our Silver and Gold subscribers get access to regularly updated charts following their media consumption. We do the heavy data lifting for you, and we’re constantly adding new data to our trends. (Ypulse)

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