Tag Archives: The Mary Sue

Boys want to do battle. Girls want to love. At least, that’s what marketers think.

1 Apr

Today in blogs, The Mary Sue has a very interesting post on Gender Marketing in Toys.  The article is based on word clouds of the terms most used in commercials for toys marketing to boys and girls, respectively.  The word clouds were designed by Crystal Smith, author of The Achilles Effect: What Pop Culture is Teaching Young Boys about Masculinity.

The biggest words in the boy cloud are “battle” and “power”.  “Heroes”, “stealth”, “ultimate”, “rides”, and “beat” also make prominent appearances.  So, I guess boys are supposed to be heroes by using their ultimate stealthy rides to beat… the bad guys?

The biggest words in the girl cloud are “love”, “fun”, and “magic”.  It should probably be noted that “love” is three or four times bigger than any other word.  ‘”Girl”, “friendship”, “change”, “babies”, “hair”, “mommy” and “style” are also pretty big.  So, girls are supposed to have friendships with girls and change their hairstyle to get ready to be mommies to babies?

I guess it should be noted that the boy cloud includes “friends”, but it’s one of the smallest words featured, the same size as “dump” and “nemesis”…  Small words in the girl cloud include “whirling”, “twirling”, and “paisley”.

Interestingly, many of the boy words are verbs or adverbs, and many of the girl words are nouns or adjectives.  Boy toys are marketing towards doing and girl toys are marketing towards being.

Obviously, the discussion of gender and children’s marketing gets into some chicken and egg type questions.  As The Mary Sue put it “Do kids respond to ads because they’re predisposed that way from birth? Or do they respond to the ads because they are taught to, by ads that have people of their gender responding in the same way?”  I’m leaning more towards the latter than the former.

The Found (?!) City of Atlantis

14 Mar

Yahoo (okay, really Reuters) is reporting that a team of scientists may have found the lost city of Atlantis.  Apparently it’s in Spain, and not really underwater, but in a marsh.  (?!)  They’re saying that Atlantis is so far inland (and not actually in the ocean as we’ve all been taught to believe) and that it was destroyed in a giant tsunami that reached it’s location 60 miles from the coast.  (Coincidentally, they waited until this week to release this information.  Hmmmm.  Can you think of any current event on which this might be meant to capitalize?)

I found this story via The Mary Sue.


MaggieCakes is a blog about culture, social media, and what’s new on the Internet. Every day (okay, I try for every day) I comb blogs and news outlets for the news about Internet culture and social media to bring them to you (with my commentary, of course) here on MaggieCakes. MaggieCakes is hosted by WordPress and often draws upon Slate, Jezebel, The Hair Pin, and SocialTimes for links and inspiration. My post Social Media and the Art of Storytelling was featured on Freshly Pressed, bringing a whole new readership to my blog. Find anything interesting in the worlds of culture or social media that you’d like to see a post on? Leave a comment or send me an e-mail at 2maggieotoole@gmail.com.

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