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

“My generation feels entitled and is less willing to put in hard work to get the results they want.”—Female, 17, VA

CoverGirl is getting a marketing makeover to impress Millennials. The brand is changing up their slogan for the first time since 1997, with “Easy, Breezy, Beautiful Covergirl” getting traded for “I Am What I Make Up.” To go along with the new tagline, an inclusive lineup of new CoverGirls will debut the revamped brand—from 69-year-old Maye Musk to pro motorcycle rider Shelina Moreda. Finally, products will be taking on the Less is More trend with “sleeker, more minimal black and white packaging” and a logo to match—a familiar branding makeover move. (Racked)

Riverdale’s recent premiere pulled impressive ratings, especially among young adults—and the show may have Netflix to thank for it. The Archie-remake grew in popularity by 67% from last winter’s premiere and 140% with women under 35. But it gained the most ground with teens, jumping an impressive 467% from last winter’s premiere, making it the most popular show from The CW among teens since The Vampire Diaries in 2012. The show’s presence on Netflix during the off-season may have helped attract young viewers, allowing them to binge the series and get addicted on their time—The Binge Effect at work. (Vulture)

Essential oils are the latest wellness trend to gain traction, appealing to Millennials’ desire to ease anxiety. The most stressed generation to date is turning to little vials of “something between a perfume and a potion” to calm their minds and remedy simple sicknesses. Companies aren’t missing the opportunity to capitalize on the growing demand. Two major brands, Young Living and doTerra, “have more than three million customers apiece, and a billion dollars in annual sales.” (The New Yorker)

The majority of teachers say that life skills are more important to success today than academics. According to research out of the U.K., more than half of teachers believe so-called “’soft’ skills,” including perseverance, the ability to problem-solve, and communicate effectively are more important than “academic knowledge and technical skills.” Unfortunately, institutions often focus on test scores instead of “social and emotional learning, or character.” The good news is groups are pushing for change and “teaching ‘character’ is taking hold everywhere.” (Quartz)

Throw that “Me, Me, Me Generation” stereotype out the window, because Millennials are probably not any more narcissistic than previous generations. (Sorry, Time Magazine.) A report published in Psychological Science compared students from a ‘90s study with students in the 2000s and 2010s and found that today’s youth are “at best” equally as self-involved as young people of the past, and may actually be less narcissistic. The professor who led the study reports, “The kids are all right. There never was a narcissism epidemic, despite what has been claimed.” (Uproxx)

“My love of video games and knowledge of technology and streaming naturally eased me into the world of esports.”—Female, 23, FL

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