Gender Roles in Marketing

I recently watched a commercial for Chevy trucks that was so heavily targeted towards men that I needed to share:

Here, a focus group is brought in and asked to view pictures of the exact same man next to two different vehicles, one being a sedan and the other a pick-up truck. The group of “single women,” “rich housewives,” and “men with beards” all give funny, yet similar answers, resulting in the man being better off with the truck. This commercial appealed to me with humor, but definitely got me thinking about gender roles in marketing.

Marketing revolves around targeted audiences, which brings up the question: Where is the line in gender segmentation? Men and women are often separated in advertising, this can be seen blatantly. However, new age marketers are coming to a realization that gender lines aren’t all that clear. Young girls, for example, want to play with legos despite them having been typically classified as a “boys” toy. This article from Global Toy News discusses such issues with specific regards to a young boy who was bullied for carrying a My Little Pony lunchbox.

While it has been historically acceptable to advertise to separate genders, I believe the new wave of advertising should hit with equality. There should be no reason for toys to be categorized, within advertising. While sales might prove one gender to be a more prominent buyer than the other, the actual marketing should equally reach out to both sides.

I do believe there’s a time and place for humor such as the Chevy truck commercial. However, articles like the one above have me questioning the future of these stereotypes in the marketing world. I’m curious to hear what others think about the commercial or article?


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