Having Conquered Girls, Disney Moves On To Boys

Between Hannah Montana, Jonas Brothers, High School Musical and the Princesses, girls drive most of the merchandising sales for Disney. And yet Disney Channel’s audience is 40% male. So naturally they hired a “kid whisperer.”

According to the New York Times, Kelly Peña and a “team of anthropologists” are trying to help the Walt Disney Company be relevant to boys. They’ve got a new channel and website, Disney XD, which seems to have a skateboarding theme.

But with the exception of Cars and Pirates Of The Caribbean, most of Disney’s major successes — while called “family friendly” — are really marketed to girls. What does it say about Disney that they’re shilling stuff like princess fantasies and body-dysmorphia-inducing dolls, while the boys play with cars and pirates? The Times claims that boys 6 to 14 account for $50 billion in spending worldwide; the “kid whisperer” discovered that boys like to “push boundaries,” have “fun with a purpose,” and really like to “crash,” which means after a long day of doing nothing, they do nothing. How will Disney find a way to put a price on that?

Disney Expert Uses Science to Draw Boy Viewers [NY Times]

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