This article by Packaging World, “Scrap The Stale Female Clichés,” specifically discusses how brands portray women. It also explores why those limiting expressions don’t serve the packaging industry. The below Allison Kroller’s TED Talk discusses this topic in detail. She looks back at the past ten years for branding and packaging design. In short, she explains why these portrayals bore customers, and how breaking free of these stereotypes empower customers to connect with a brand a personal level.
Allison Koller, Executive Creative Director at CBX, discusses how cliche the portrayal of women is in advertisements today, and how we can take steps to reshape those marketing campaigns to represent real women in the future. Allison has been with CBX since its inception.
Kroller brings up many valuable points and real-life examples of why this perspective is a successful one. That being said, this concept doesn’t strictly affect feminine hygiene products. Gendered items for women often cost more. Perhaps you have heard the term, “pink tax.” “Pink tax” also refers to how items targeting men will often provide more of the product because brands assume women will want smaller versions of the same thing. When it comes to toys, the blue toys can be more intellectually engaging than the pink toys. They can even come with extra features.
The list of boring clichés goes on…
She also touched on the point of how people of color are portrayed in the media and how improvements have been made. That being said, the next time you walk down a grocery aisle, particularly the makeup and hair aisle, pay attention to how many models of color are actually used on packaging. Is the packaging industry truly diverse in its representation? While a limiting view of women’s capabilities are growing, there remains a limiting view with regards to what kinds of people are being represented.
Men aren’t free of patronizing clichés either. You may have already noticed some unnecessarily gendered products. Do earplugs need gendered packaging in order to appeal to a demographic of people? Can the merit of its efficiency not sell the product on its own? With advancements in smart packaging and Gen Z’s personal touch, there are many ways you can connect with customers. You can also provide them with useful techniques on using your product. With these advancements, customers are feeling empowered, instead of feeling suffocated by societal norms in gender expression.
Learn more about what Great Lakes Label’s products and innovative techniques. Download our comprehensive label production and design guide.
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