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: “This holiday season, I’m buying myself a GoPro.” –Male, 28, MI

Teens may not be able to remember a time before the internet—but that doesn’t necessarily make them more internet-savvy than older users. Research in the UK found that only 31% of 12-15-year-olds and 16% of 8-11-year-olds could tell the difference between Google ads and Google search results, even when ads were labeled. The findings indicate that young consumers still need to “develop the knowhow they need to navigate the online world.” (The Verge)

Last week, Pew survey results showing that 40% of Millennials are “against free speech” that is offensive to minority groups were widely reported—but a closer look might prove those conclusions were a “false alarm.” Though there is no data to directly compare the question to, there are “numerous examples” that show that multiple generations have held similar views for decades. (NYMag)

Ypulse’s exclusive holiday shopping survey found 61% agree with the statement “I can't stand crowds and don’t shop in-store on Black Friday.” Their decision to shop from home is shifting the consumer holiday: the National Retail Federation found that more people shopped online than in stores during Thanksgiving and Black Friday weekend. Major chains are adjusting by moving many of their big deals online as well. (WSJ)

Thought we know 35% of Millennial voters would choose Bernie Sanders if the election was tomorrow, there is still a long time before election day, and a new app is ready to educate about the candidates, the Millennial way. Voter uses the Tinder “swipe left/swipe right” format to help users to find the candidates and parties that share their views. A series of questions sort users into political pools, and give them a breakdown of the issues they agree and disagree on, as well as contacts and donation links. (PSFK)

Brands have been leaning into nostalgia and bringing back Millennials’ childhood favorites all year—and it isn’t close to over. Rumors are flying that the wonderfully disgusting Ghostbusters themed Hi-C Ecto Cooler is coming back for the release of the film’s reboot in 2016. Neon orange Ecto Cooler was originally put on the shelves in 1987, featured the beloved Slimer, and was so popular it outlasted the Ghostbusters cartoon. (AVClub)

Quote of the Day: “It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without some family drama.” –Male, 23, MA

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