51% off your customer base

Happy new year! It’s time for the January sales, which means marketing emails, which — unfortunately but inevitably — means more colour-coding cobblers. Here’s the latest from Green Baby:

Screenshot of Green Baby marketing email showing 'click here for boys and here for girls'

Clicks for chicks

“Click here for boys and here for girls”, they say. So where do I click if I want to browse a whole range of t-shirts and make my own mind up about which might appeal to my daughter or my nieces and nephews? Not on this site, I guess.

Even worse, when I did actually look at the t-shirts, they were the same old tired nonsense: all the boys’ tshirts are blue, and feature a football, a monkey, a frog, and (OK, this one was surprising) a ‘peace’ sign; all the girls’ tshirts are pink, and are decorated with lovebirds/hearts, the slogan “little angel”, more hearts, and butterflies.

Screenshot of tshirts for boys from greenbaby.com

Tee for he

Screenshot of tshirts for girls from greenbaby.com

Shirts for skirts

The tshirts we actually bought for the niece & nephew’s Christmas presents were these ‘96.4% Orangutan’ tshirts; we bought them from a local fairtrade shop rather than the website, so I was spared the explanatory note about which colour I was allowed to buy for which gender — “available in Geranium Pink or Turquoise for girls and Kermit Green or Sinatra Blue for boys”. (The other design is “available in Hibiscus Pink or Lemonade for girls and Yellow for boys”. “Lemonade” is a kind of washed-out yellow, if you were wondering. See also xkcd on the naming of colours by gender.)

I bet boy orangutans (available in RUSTY CAR ORANGE) and girl orangutans (available in SWEET MARMALADE ORANGE) don’t have to worry about this sort of thing.


3 thoughts on “51% off your customer base

  1. I have to admit, if you’d shown me swatches of those colours and asked me to guess which a retailer who was so inclined would assign to boys and which to girls, I’d’ve not got very good marks.

  2. So Green Baby don’t actually do green? Presumably because neither boys nor girls can wear it? Sad.

    Unless girl‘s t-shirts have to have a different cut I don’t see why they can’t just offer a rainbow of colours and let people do their own matching.

    • Green usually seems to be a ‘boy’ colour in kids’ clothes. I guess because it’s not pink…

      Women’s t-shirts often do have a slightly different cut (more fitted and/or more stretchy, sometimes a more sculpted hem), but of course adult women’s chests are actually a different shape from men’s! Also, even if they were radically different shapes, why not offer the same designs in ‘boy’ shape and ‘girl’ shape? If you’ve already got the technology for making the different shapes and printing the different designs, I don’t understand why you can’t combine the two.

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