Let's Swap the Audio for Girls' and Boys' Lego Commercials and See What Happens

Illustration for article titled Let's Swap the Audio for Girls' and Boys' Lego Commercials and See What Happens

We've been talking a lot about Lego Friends, the new Legos for girls that, while remarkably boring, happen to be selling very well. It's frustrating to see advertisers and toy manufacturers decide what should interest girls and what should interest boys, but it's also interesting to see how they do it.


There's a Lego Advertising Mixer, a website that allows you to swap the audio and the visuals from the Lego commercials marketed towards boys and the commercials marketed toward girls. The results are interesting, not just because of they give a different look at advertising sexism, but also in that they show how lazy the marketing has become. Looking at it from a directorial stand point, the commercials are almost identical (allowing the audio to match up particularly well) — a vehicle passes, structures are built, and camera cuts occur at exactly the same moments.

Could the similarities in the structures commercials be any indication that it's not necessarily the stereotypically feminine and masculine qualities of the toys that make kids want them, but perhaps the gender neutral advertising manipulations instead? Maybe it's not the color pink or the number of swords that children are reacting to, but the way the commercial is inherently structured. As a child, I was obsessed with Barbies, but I also wanted a Nerf guns. Perhaps it was less that Barbies appealed to my girlie sensibilities and more that I responded to fast cut, brightly colored commercials, no matter what the product. And if that's the case with children, what's the point in qualifying what is for boys and what is for girls at all?



To be fair- Lego did actually develop this line by asking girls what they wanted in a toy, I think it's frustrating that these are so clearly marketed by gender, but I wouldn't have found that to be a boring toy as a child. In fact, I'm sure I would have loved either or both of these play sets as a kid! I resent the sort of thinking that seems to suggest that fending off dragons is a more legitimate form of play than running a cafe- they're both really valid. I just wish that toy companies would focus on making great toys for CHILDREN and not for boys and girls specifically.