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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The Newsfeed

“I eat whenever I need to...I don’t follow the conventional breakfast, lunch, dinner setup.”

—Male, 29 VA

Over half of Millennials believe “money can buy happiness.” Fifty-three percent of 22-39-year-olds believe the more money you have, the happier you are, compared to 38% of Americans overall, according to Mintel. The research also shows Millennials are optimists: a little over half are confident in their financial futures, although nearly a third consider paying off credit card bills their greatest financial challenge. Considering the Ypulse financial tracker shows 59% of 18-34-year-olds have debt, we’re not surprised. (MediaPost)

Mickey Mouse Club is coming back for a new generation, and they know just where to find them: social media. Disney announced at Vidcon that the new rendition of the variety show will be released in snackable snippets on social media only. The show will search for future stars with little to no social followings, but big, undiscovered talents, such as choreography and songwriting. Disney is winning out with Millennials and this nostalgic hit should be right on brand; you can see it at the end of August on the Oh My Disney Facebook channel. (THR)

Summer camp costs more than ever before, and some parents are paying big bucks for their children to rough it. Sleepaway camps cost an average of $768 a week, up from $397 in 2005, for often less-than-luxe accommodations. Affluent parents who want their kids to “just be normal” are sending them to camps that can cost $20,000 for basic room and board that “smells a little mildewy,” where kids do their own laundry, clean their rooms, have roommates, and engage in typical camp activities—macaroni art, anyone? (MarketWatch)

Taco Bell has built brand love and a loyal fan following across digital. Their record-breaking giant taco head Snapchat lenswas just the beginning of their successful social marketing strategy, which involves treating each platform differently. The latest example is their YouTube series, Taco Tales, which includes 40 pieces of long-form content catered to their fans. They’ve accrued 10.5 million Facebook fans, 1.85 million Twitter followers, and 60,000 YouTube subscribers with their “wacky,” authentic brand voice in an effort to not just people-please, but to be themselves—which may be why they’re one of young adults’ favorite fast food restaurants.

(The Drum)

More evidence that Millennials still love analog books: They’re the most likely generation to use public libraries, according to a Pew Research Report. More than half of 18-35-year-olds have frequented a public library in the last twelve months, compared to 45% of Gen X, 43% of Boomers, and 36% of Silents. University libraries were specifically not counted, so being college-aged isn’t giving them any advantage, either. The finding goes hand in hand with Ypulse data that shows reading is 13-34-year-olds’ biggest hobby. 

“The wedding trend I have noticed is the white wedding dress being phased out and an array of colors and styles being used.”

—Female, 32, FL

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