Direct Line Blog

As if Bratz dolls aren't bad enough ... pink Lego

Share this article:
Allison Schiff, web editor, Direct Marketing News
Allison Schiff, web editor, Direct Marketing News

I wouldn't go so far as to say that everything should be gender neutral (for example, I think gender neutral childrearing is a little extreme), but there's something a little off-putting about “Lego Friends,” Lego's new line of girly toys — and it's not because I'm opposed to gender-specific marketing.

Understanding why men and women generally maintain different buying behaviors would be like discovering the answer to the age-old chicken/egg question. Do people act their gender because they're treated a certain way or because that's what they are intrinsically?

For that, there's no black and white answer, but when it comes to marketing, gender-specific targeting is understandable. Marketers are looking to move product or build awareness around a brand and they're only going to reach out, with their limited funds and time, to the people most likely to buy or care about what they're doing. Marketers need to get their messages into the right hands.

So, boys get G.I. Joe dolls (sorry, action figures) and girls get My Little Ponies. I, for one, owned this purple, red-haired My Little Pony when I was growing up, a gift from my grandfather. The popcorn on its hindquarters was scratch n' sniff. Yum.

But then there are the Lego Friends. I don't like them. They're really skinny. And they're all wearing different color variations on the same pastel tank top, one emblazoned with butterflies, another with hearts.

What gets my hackles up is not that Lego decided to design products that would appeal to girls; it's their marketing department's conception of what appeals to girls: beauty shops, fashion and cupcakes.

Often, we don't even realize we're being targeted, but that's because the targeting is working. It makes sense to us why we're being targeted. And sometimes the targeting makes us uncomfortable, like when Lego feels the need to create something like Emma's Splash Pool.

Don't forget to check out our special February targeting issue, live on our site on Feb. 1.

Share this article:
close

Next Article in Direct Line Blog

Sign up to our newsletters

Latest Jobs:


Company of the week


Concerned about growth? With over 25 years experience in the industry, the list experts at Fairfield Marketing Group possess the know-how to help immediately improve any domestic or international direct marketing effort. First-time and well-established mailers can rely on Fairfield Marketing Group's expertise to help launch campaigns into positive and profitable ventures.

Find out more here »

More in Direct Line Blog

4 Ways to Make 140 Characters Count

4 Ways to Make 140 Characters Count

Here's how to market a brand successfully in a Twitter bio.

It Ain't Easy Being a Green Marketer

It Ain't Easy Being a Green Marketer

If brands are going to talk the green talk, they need to be prepared to walk the green walk. This and other Earth Day-related musings.

Relevance Is the "Sole" of Finish Line's Remarketing

Relevance Is the "Sole" of Finish Line's Remarketing

How the athletic footwear retailer applied its email remarketing tactics to Facebook.