Sadly, in our society that is obsessed with assigning focus group labels to everything, this still needs to be reiterated.
For those interested in finding out how advertising got to this ridiculous situation where products are heavily geared towards a target demographic rather than to as many people as possible – I highly recommend to items.
The first is The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan, which talks at length about how in the 1950s and 60s companies concluded the best way to sell to a market was to manipulate into becoming a particular type of person.
The second is the critically acclaimed AMC tv show Mad Men. But don’t watch it to listen to Don Draper’s charismatic selling of the art of selling or the nature of the universe and humanity.
Look at how rigidly structured and separated society in the western world was then. How the emphasis on gender, race and class roles and how it integrates with things like police profiling and social injustice.
That is the society that created this idea that products have to marketed to demographics (and that demographics have to stick to their products and adhere to the role they were given) and that is the kind of social values that it perpetuates – what you do, love or want is not as important as who you are.
While not every product has to be aimed at everyone, it really doesn’t take that much work to make sure that your products (or the way you market them) aren’t exclusionary, exploitative or just downright hostile towards some people.
This seemed like a relevant throwback, in the light of Marvel excusing their sales drop with the diversity “not selling” anymore.
Pretending that media with more representation either didn’t reach their audience (again, false assessment), let alone that the audience spontaneously changed their tastes is a feeble excuse to bring back status quo and pander back to the “core” fandom of cishet white men offended by sharing toys with other demographics.
Truly the only thing more ridiculous than when publishers decide that x media isn’t for y group is when they deliberately make something that is (at least allegedly) for y group and then are either shocked and amazed that they like it, or rush to blame them for not providing a never ending stream of completely unconditional praise for offerings of crumbs.