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Pink Product Ploy
That had better be for raising breast cancer awareness.
"That's right — pink guns. If you're a woman who's put off by the macho violence of guns, maybe you'd change your mind if they were pink."
Simply put, coloring a product pink on the assumption that women are more likely to buy them.
Products made for women, especially girls, are often pink. Whether it's toys, clothes, school supplies, phones, backpacks, etc., if it is meant for girls or women, it will likely be pink. Traditionally, men never buy them. This is common in Real Life
, but probably started in works. This is also to get women to buy products traditionally used only by men.
For stuff in works, this accounts mainly for The Merch
, but can cover things In-Universe
(especially when lampshading or discussing this).
Many people these days find this almost insulting, as if the color of the product is the sole turn off from women buying it, implying they can be that shallow. And it doesn't work in all cases. There are, however, some people who do buy pink products because they are pink (if you like pink, and pink is an option, then why not get the pink one), and some companies and organizations that have attempted to make the pink-female association an Insult Backfire
. Be proud to be a woman — use the pink folding multitool with rhinestones! (Yes, that product existed.)
of Pink Means Feminine
and Men Are Generic, Women Are Special
Compare Clarke's Law for Girls' Toys
open/close all folders
As An Advertising Trope
- Barbie not only has plenty of pink clothes, but Mattel also has a copyright on the shade "Barbie Pink" (#FB46A3). Although many products of this trope try to get as close to that color as they can.
- The Disney Princess merchandise is usually pink on the packages, and the line logo is pink. It is possible to get Belle in a pink dress...
- The toys for My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic include a lot more pink on the ponies than is actually in the show (most infamously on Princess Celestia, although a properly-colored white version of her toy was eventually released). Word of God is that this was done to appease the retail buyers, who explicitly stated that the color influenced their purchase quantities.
- This may be increasingly averted, however, as Hasbro becomes more aware of the show's large Periphery Demographic. One pack of fan-favorite characters from the show (including the Big Bad Nightmare Moon, popular Villain Of The Week Trixie, and Ensemble Darkhorse DJ PON3) stands out in The Pink Aisle with its dark blue and maroon color scheme, and the San Diego Comic Con exclusive of Ascended Meme Derpy featured no pink whatsoever on its box — not even in the MLP logo.
- On the other hand, this trope is in full swing with Pinkie Pie; all advertising features her heavily and she gets the most merchandise, to the point that you would think that she and not Twilight was the main character. This goes all the way back to G3 (though she was at least the leader in G3.) From 2003 onward, Pinkie Pie is the franchise's mascot, the center of all the advertising. Also, the debut of the accurately-colored Celestia coincides with the arrival of pink Princess Cadence, who is getting two toylines centered around her despite not appearing more than twice per season. In fact, rumor has it that the reason Princess Cadance was introduced in the show was so Hasbro could have a pink pony princess toy to appease retailers, allowing them to make a show-accurate white Celestia.
- Some versions of the Playstation 2 were sold with pink systems and pink controllers.
- The Nintendo DS Lite came in, not one, but two different pink colors during its run - coral pink and metallic rose - both of which were marketed to the increasingly targeted demographic of female gamers. Interestingly, the original coral pink version became a big hit with males, thanks in part to promotion from Penny Arcade. It didn't hurt that, depending on the vagaries of inventory, it was often slightly cheaper at popular online retailers like Amazon.
- This was preceded by the pink Game Girl, which came with a Tamagotchi game. It didn't really work. Female gamers chose much the same colors the male gamers did.
- The Japanese starter pack for the Pokémon Trading Card Game's Black and White expansion came in two flavors; a "for boys" version that was packaged in a dark-colored box, and a "for girls" version that was hot pink and covered in hearts. While this wasn't the only difference between the decks, it was certainly the most noticeable.
- There are pink Board Games that are otherwise the same as their standard counterparts. These are often board games that classically were gender-neutral for generations.
- A good chunk of Supergirl clothing and Halloween costumes come in pink. You'll also see the "S" in pink on random merchandise marketed as the "Supergirl" logo, even though in the comics she wears the same colors as Superman: red, blue and yellow. Sometimes white as well, but never pink.
- Something similar happens with Spider-Girl Halloween costumes. One particular offender was not only pink, but came with a mini-skirt. In the actual comics, May's costume is pretty much the same as her father's, the only difference being a larger spider emblem on the front.
- Mace to women in pink spray cans rather than the black ones, though these are for breast cancer awareness. They've got the little ribbon on them and everything.
- She-Ra: Princess of Power: She-Ra's steed Swift Wind presented a problem for male collectors. On the cartoon he was white but the original toy was pink. While the toyline was aimed at young girls, the cartoon, a spin-off of He-Man, was not. Thus She-Ra has a large male fanbase, but many collectors were hesitant to add a pink Winged Unicorn to their collection. When Swift Wind was added to the Masters of the Universe Classics toyline Mattel let fans vote on what color he would be. White won by a landslide.
- Most Hello Kitty products sold in the West have lots of pink, and so the color is tied to the line in America. In Japan, despite this trope still being in effect, Hello Kitty may come in all sorts of colors and designs.
- Many sports teams have pink versions of their outfits, despite it not being a team color.
- There are pink versions of NFL gear for all teams, when no NFL team has pink as a color otherwise. These are specifically marketed to female fans. The general perception, though, is that the casual and borderline female fans tend to gravitate toward the pink gear, while die-hard female fans prefer authentic team colors, and the more aggressive die-hards may even mock the pink-wearers for not being "true fans".
- The NFL, of course, is all too happy in recent years to sell pink merch in October for breast cancer awareness, and to have all their teams wear pink accessories (though not as part of the uniform proper). Pinktober in the NFL has somewhat cycled down a little bit, though, as teams no longer have to accessorize in pink for the entire month.
- Pink gear has appeared for Major League Baseball as well.
- Licensed Red Sox caps were only introduced in pink after the team started winning World Series again. There was an unfortunate backlash from "true fans", who saw anyone who wore them as "fans-come-lately". (The theory being that if you hadn't suffered through the Sox's 86-year losing streak, you didn't deserve to wear the hat.)
- Minor-league teams will go all-out pink, whether for breast cancer awareness, or simply for Valentine's Day or Mother's Day if the team plays on those holidays. Naturally, the appropriate merch is available at the team's pro shop.
- NCAA teams are also more likely to get the full pink-out effect, due to Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour encouraging schools to wear more and more uniform variations, each more outlandish than the last, and school programs wanting to get in on supporting breast cancer awareness (among other causes). And yep, you can buy that merch too.
- Tectoy, the Brazilian distributor of the Sega Master System, produced a pink portable version of the console called "Master System Girl."
- That toolset in the picture comes in two colors, grey and pink.
- And yes, firearms with pink furniture are getting easier and easier to find, triply so for pistols with synthetic frames. It's a lot less patronizing, though, when pink is just one of the many colors offered on a particular gun. If it just comes in black and pink, though, then it falls squarely into this.
- The Talkgirl was nothing more than a Talkboy that was pink and purple.
- Most Ruger pepper spray comes in exactly two colors: black and pink. The only exception is the faux lipstick pepper spray, which also comes in red and blue. Clearly, women are more likely to buy mace to defend themselves if it comes in a feminine color or seamlessly blends in with their cosmetics.
- Ferrero now has released a version of their Kinder Surprise chocolate eggs which is explicitly intended to be for girls. Guess which colour has been added to the white and red design of the eggs' packages◊...
- Nothing is immune to this Trope...not even pink Ouija boards.
- And model trains. In 1957 Lionel introduced The Girl's Set, a model train with engine and cars painted in pastel colors. Unfortunately they neglected to realize that 1) no boy would want to buy the set and 2) any girl interested in model trains is interested for the same reason as the boys—the realism of the models. Some retailers took to repainting the trains themselves just to move the product.
- The Easy-Bake Oven originally came in either goldenrod or turquoise. Kenner proceeded to continually recolor and redesign the oven, to correspond with evolving aesthetics for actual kitchen appliances. Then, Hasbro bought Kenner, and released Easy-Bake Ovens in pink and white. However, after Hasbro went through various other girly color schemes, a petition convinced them to produce Easy-Bake Ovens with gender-neutral colors once again.
- BIC once released a line of "For Her" pink ball-point pens. Reviewers on Amazon immediately went all "Three Wolf Moon" on it, writing hundreds of satirical reviews for the product mocking the idea that somehow women had to be enticed into writing with pink pens.
- Nerf's "Rebelle" line of foam-dart toy weapons for girls (riding on the popularity of The Hunger Games and similar franchises) is mostly made up of designs similar, if not identical, to the regular line... except for white and pink colors and feathery "stereotypical young women's tattoos" markings.
- Draculaura from Monster High is easily one of the most popular characters among the target audience, in virtue of all the pink in her design.
- One model of the Super Cassette Vision console was the "Lady's Set" that came in a pink vinyl case and was bundled with the game Milky Princess.