Young Men Want Advertisers To Stop Using These 15 Stereotypes

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

Millennial & Gen Z males are redefining masculinity and embracing the gender blur, so we wanted to find out what gender stereotypes they wish would disappear...

As we identified in Breaking the Stereotypes: How to Reach Young Males, Gen Z and Millennial males are an elusive consumer group for brands, adept at ignoring advertising and avoiding traditional media altogether. At the same time, the rules of masculinity are changing. Young males are embracing the gender blur and redefining the traditional notion of what it means to be a man, leaving it up to brands to change their messaging to reach them. Nearly six in ten 13-35-year-old males say that brands make men look dumb. In other words, kiss goodbye to the days of clueless dads and men straight from Muscle Beach; young males today aren’t having it.

Instead, young males appreciate brands that are evolving with them and embracing the qualities that make them unique. Some successful ad campaigns are listening by showing a different side of the gender. Take Axe’s “Find Your Magic” campaign. The commercial opens with the line, “Come on, a six pack? Who needs a six pack when you’ve got…” and launches into a list of all the other things guys could be known for—from a nose to brains to dancing in heels to cuddling with kittens. Or Stoli’s “Drink What You Want,” which aims to “break the stigma” of guys liking fruity, flavored cocktails.

To get a better sense of how Gen Z and Millennial males want to be portrayed by brands, we asked 13-35-year-old males, “What is one stereotype about your gender you wish advertisers would stop using?”* Here are their top 15 answers:

*These were open-end response questions to allow us to capture the full range of gender stereotypes 13-35-year-old males wish advertisers would stop using. As with any…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “Time I could be sleeping is time I spend on social media. It's now part of my waking up and going to sleep routine and, for those reasons, I'm feeling done with social media."—Male, 24, CA

MasterCard created an audio-only logo for Generation Voice Activated. The finance brand has debuted a sound they’ll play when people check out using their MasterCard. YPulse data shows that 29% of 18-36-year-olds own a smart speaker device, and that number is only expected to grow along with the use of other audio-activated devices. MasterCard wants to make their brand memorable without visual cues to tap into the $40 billion in revenue voice shopping is expected to generate by 2022. (Fast Company)

Brands are acting uncannily human on Twitter—is it working? Many brands (mainly the food and beverage kind) are “behav[ing] like real people with idiosyncratic personalities” on social media to connect with young consumers. This allows them to “stand out it in a crowded marketplace," explains one marketing professor. And Twitter users are engaging: from Sunny D to Steak-umm, brands are going viral for nihilist, and even depressing, first-person posts. (Vice)

Millennials are buying more greeting cards this Valentine’s Day. The National Retail Federation estimates the industry made as much as $933 million yesterday, compared to $894 million last year. Experts say that Millennials are behind the boost as they buy more expensive, albeit fewer, cards that often have personalized flourishes and functions (like audio). They’re also opting for IRL cards over e-cards because, as one enthusiast explains, "I like giving cards because you can hold it, unlike a text or email.” (NPR)

Brands went beyond romantic messaging for Valentine’s Day this year. Some catered to Millennials’ Treat Yo’Self mentality with collaborations like Tinder and Homesick’s “Single, Not Sorry” candle, while others celebrated Galentine’s Day. Target stocked themed decorations for those hosting girls-only get-togethers and Kay Jewelers set aside a site category for Galentine’s Day gifts. Finally, the NRF estimates that pet owners spent $886 million on their furry friends on Valentine’s Day, and retailers like PetSmart advertised accordingly. (ContentStandard)

More college grads are taking on retail jobs as stores up the ante for new hires. Yes, the trend is fueled by student debt and other financial factors, but also because stores that focus on experience expect more than ever from their customer service reps. Workers at Sweaty Betty, Everlane, and Warby Parker are reportedly trained with workshops, tests, and homework. But while, as one expert explains, “Customers are also coming in with much higher expectations of what level of service they’re going to receive,” retail wages aren’t keeping pace. (Refinery29)

Quote of the Day: “The best thing about social media is to connect with people across geographical boundaries and cultures. I love interacting with people that I wouldn’t have otherwise.”—Female, 22, PA

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