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 would want anyone that is not named Clinton or Trump to be the next president.”—Male, 23, NY

Millennials are so not feeling this election. In a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, only 54% of voters under the age of 35 say they are highly interested in the current campaign, a 6% decrease from 2012, and 18% below the general voter population. Millennials’ level of enthusiasm is a stark contrast from the past two presidential campaigns, which is troubling for current candidates since President Obama’s election relied heavily on the college student vote in battleground states. The poll—which was conducted from Oct. 10-13—also revealed that Clinton was leading Trump among 18-29-year-old voters by only 13%. (The Wall Street Journal

Chipotle has launched a weekly Snapchat show to get Millennials on their side once again. School of Guac is targeted to 13-24-year-olds, and is described as “after-school special meets variety show meets satirical news program.” Young performer Lorena Russi hosts the minute-long episodes, which can vary from DIY with burrito foil to an explanation on why tortilla chips are triangular. Unlike other brands’ TV programming created for Snapchat, Chipotle’s resembles the polished content usually found on traditional TV, and even incorporates fake commercials.  (Digiday

Millennials will be a crucial player in the real estate revolution of next year. In what is described as a “‘Oh, shift’ moment” for the housing market, 52% of potential home buyers next year will be first-timers, and 61% of them will be under the age of 35—according to an annual survey from realtor.com®. Millennials will be mostly seeking a home is for growing families, and almost four in ten of 25-34-year-olds say single-family homes will be the type they’ll be looking to buy, followed by townhomes. Ample space, yards, and safe neighborhoods are also in demand, with 28% stating they will like to live near the suburbs, followed by 22% who prefer outlying suburbs. (Realtor.com

Netflix is almost “12 times more popular among teens” compared to other streaming services. Piper Jaffray’s recent semiannual survey on U.S. teenagers revealed that 37% of teens are watching Netflix daily— a significant number when only 3% can say the same for Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. YouTube came in second for teen daily video consumption at 26%, an upward trend for the platform and the first time it has come ahead of cable TV which followed at 25%. (Tech Times

Facebook wants to connect online friends in the offline world. The social platform has released a new batch of tools to let users buy tickets to events, schedule appointment with businesses, and get local dining recommendations from friends by selecting an area from their News Feed maps. The update was created to solve the “unbelievably challenging process in 2016 to figure out what there is to go do, and then…decide which of those things you want to go do and then actually engage in the doing of said things." They’ve also expanded activity streams to let users track what events their friends go to and their suggestions. (Mashable

Quote of the Day: “I like Last Week Tonight With John Oliver because he dives very deep into topics that are not always appealing, pleasant, or interesting. He turns these topics into something hilarious, entertaining, and educational at the same time.”—Male, 32, KY

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