TBWA Celebrates ‘Gender Free Christmas’ for U Supermarket

By Erik Oster 

TBWA launched a different kind of holiday effort for Système U’s U Supermarket, celebrating the the fourth-largest food retail group in France’s dedication to a “Gender Free Christmas.”

A two-minute spot opens with an examination of the types of gender stereotypes children grow up surrounded by and as a result inevitably voice themselves. “Girls enjoy kitchens” says one girl, while a boy says, “boys have superhero action figures.” Another girl points to the colors pink and blue as typical gender signifiers. After this introduction the ad poses the question “But is this true when they start to play?” with footage of boys and girls set loose in a playroom full of toys which finds boys playing with kitchen sets and baby dolls while girls enjoy a train set and trucks. The effort supports U Supermarket’s new Christmas toy catalog, which drops the typical male/female separation for a presentation “Where there are no toys for girls or boys. Just toys.”

It’s a refreshing effort that makes for a nice addition to the brand’s ongoing “added social value” message, if not entirely unprecedented. As Adweek points out, the campaign comes on the heels of Target’s decision to stop classifying toys in its store by gender. There was also the recent  Moschino Barbie ad featuring an enthusiastic young boy. If removing gender stereotyping from advertising toys to children is becoming a trend, we’re all for it