I just may be screaming right now and wherever you are, you might be able to hear me. Even as we’ve begun to feel like Marvel might finally be responding to the audience roar for female-led superhero films, and heartened by the hiring of women to write some of those films, the Disney machine is still working against us. Honestly, a lot of the toy companies do, but this ire is about a particular line of film-related toys — Marvel’s Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy, which consumers quickly noticed were omitted Gamora and Black Widow from.
According to a former Marvel employee who wishes to remain anonymous, before its Disney-fication, Marvel did care about catering to all consumers, and was also very sensitive about how its female characters were depicted on merchandise being sold to children. But the marketing department didn’t head in a great direction with design, and their poorly executed, female-centric product lines didn’t do well. The ex-employee goes on to say that after Disney acquired Marvel, she noticed in slides created by the Disney marketing team, “unlike the actual demos, the desired demographics had no females in it whatsoever.” When she asked her supervisor why that was, he responded:
“That’s not why Disney bought us. They already have the girls’ market on lockdown.”
Of course! Disney already sucked in the entirety of the female population with princess-related crap; why would they worry about getting female comic fans? We’re constantly reminded by marketing teams across America, we’re women and they know what we like. As if my butt wasn’t already burned every time I walk into a Target with my kids and we’re *supposed* to separate out into the “boy toy” aisles and the “girl toy” aisles… All three kidlets love Legos, but my younger daughter has always wondered why the all the “cool” sets are with the “boys’ toys.” While the former Marvel employee may have set our brains to explode, she also provides some good information on how to get Disney and Marvel’s attention, and help get the marketing train headed on the right track.
“Disney bought Marvel and Lucasfilm because they wanted to access the male market. To achieve this goal, they allocate less to Marvel’s female demo, and even less to a unisex one. They won’t be interested in changing how they work until consumers understand what’s going on.”
Apparently, it’s (mostly) all in our — and the the licensees’ (Target, Walmart, etc.) — hands.
“When complaining about the lack of Black Widow, don’t just tweet at Marvel and Disney. Contact the licensees. They need to know there is a high demand. They need those numbers. Look into companies like Mad Engine, Hasbro, Jay Franco, etc. Look at the tags and find those companies.”
There’s a lot more information at the source article, and I really like that the author went beyond getting readers fired up about crappy company marketing plans. Hey, I may even have calmed down a little.