The Girl Gamer Perspective: Marketing Messages Miss The Target

Julia is our gaming expert on the Youth Advisory Board, and as a girl gamer, she’s frustrated that so many of the video games she enjoys are rarely presented as being female-friendly. She may never have picked up Skyrim, which quickly became one of her favorites, if she hadn’t heard from other girl gamers that it had some great features because the game was only marketed to guys. She explains below…

(For the industry perspective, check out Reaching The Female Gamer By Ignoring Stereotypes from Jen Shanley, industry veteran and CEO of Zwirlz.)

To contact Julia or other members of the Youth Advisory Board, send an email to youthadvisoryboard @ ypulse.com or simply leave a note in the comments…

The Girl Gamer Perspective: Marketing Messages Miss The Target

Intense Girl GamerGamers are usually portrayed as members of a few different categories: socially awkward oddballs, nerdy teenage boys, or chubby immature adults living in their parents’ basements. However, there is one stereotype that applies to all gamers: “real gamers” are always male. Marketers seem to have adopted these stereotypes, believing that that women don’t play games very much, and even those who do aren’t “hardcore” gamers. In their opinions, women are only interested in games that involve fashion, pop songs, puppies, or, of course, weight loss.

However, women actually constitute 42% of American gamers. Although many in the marketing world assume that these women are only interested in casual games (like “Bejeweled,” “Mariokart,” and “The Sims”) or games that specifically target a female audience (like Barbie games for little girls or exercise games for grown women), in reality 44% of female gamers prefer genres other than casual, exercise, or music.

Many girls, myself included, love games like “Final Fantasy” that revolve…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“As a graphic designer, without the arts being available to me in school I would have been lost as a child and where to take my career path. The fact that schools are cutting art programs is heartbreaking.”—Female, 24, NJ

Applebee’s is putting down the sriracha and giving up on trying to appeal to Millennials. The brand has decided their newer menu items—like a “triple pork bonanza” sandwich—and attempt at a “modern bar and grill” reinvention has “alienate[d]” Boomers and Gen Xers. They’re shutting down more than 130 restaurants and bringing back initiatives from before their attempted “pendulum swing towards millennials,” all-you-can-eat specials and 2-for-$20 deals. Other brands are creating new spin off chains to appeal to fast-casual lovingMillennials, that “[lack] the associated baggage of the old.” (Inc, NPR)

Adults-only ball pits, bouncy houses, and giant slides are sweeping the U.K. Millennials seeking a break from adulthood are flocking to places like Wacky World’s “massive bouncy-castle obstacle course,” which started out as a children’s event. The founder received so many requests that now every event has an 18-and-over slot, and has expanded to 19 cities. This “trend for arrested development activities” is caused by nostalgia, but the influx of marketing and branding leveraging the emotion could be popularizing these playgrounds for adults. (The Guardian)

Facebook is responding to the trend of asking for birthday charitable donations by integrating it right into the platform. Users in the U.S. can now trade in all the “HBD”s they get on Facebook for donations to the cause of their choice: well-wishers will be notified of the birthday along with the selected non-profit, and get the chance to donate. Facebook will ask users which charity they wish to dedicate their day to two weeks in advance, allowing them to choose from 750,000 organizations. (TNW)

Appear Here is the Airbnb of pop-up shops, giving brands their perfect temporary store for the new era of retail. The company finds short term retail space, and has worked with big-name brands like Nike and Net-a-Porter to open “experimental activations” or “test new products.” As brick-and-mortar continues to suffer and long-term stores close, Appear Here says physical retail is still needed, but to “tell a story.” The pop-up industry was valued at $50 billion in 2015, and provides a more low-risk, flexible option to avoid the retail wasteland. (Glossy)

Millennials & Gen Z are turning a profit online and on mobile by re-selling their retail. Thredup, Poshmark, and Depop are just a few of the most popular brands cashing in on the resale economy’s $18 billion market, and some shoppers say they are making $300 a week on the platforms. Some are also using social to sell, often in conjunction with apps or sites, including Snapchat, Facebook Groups, and Instagram. College students on a budget are reportedly especially drawn to resale, thanks to convenience, value, and access to luxury at a lower price. (FN)

“Adult means being entirely independent. I pay my own bills, make all decisions in my life, and feel very in control.”—Male, 20, NY

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