Targeting a Different Demographic

My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic Highschool of the Dead AnimeIs it possible for grown men to enjoy both of these things?

Konnichiwa, Mikuites! Even though My Little Pony is not technically an anime––despite its moe pony designs and wide-eyed protagonists––it has caused quite a stir amongst anime fans…almost completely polarizing fans. Some otakus have embraced it, while others have called it the bane of animation. Whatever side you are on, many lessons can be learned from MLP, specifically that a good story can appeal to anyone, no matter the superficial visuals. Perhaps anime fans can relate to this fact better than anyone.

Developer Lauren Faust has said that MLP was made with all genders and age groups in mind, but not even she could’ve conceived how much it would surge with Internet popularity. Fans claim it’s the best thing that has happened to the Internet in a long, long time. And I’d have to agree. Though, I’m not here to talk about how MLP has spread love and tolerance across the world, but rather why it has gained so much popularity with people like you and I, who usually have a penchant for pussy (not the feline kind) as opposed to ponies.

What’s unique about MLP in particular is that it seems to appeal to older males mostly. Sure, there are tons of guys out there who like cute anime (take anything produced by KyoAni as your pick), but even they are resistant to succumb to the power of ponies.

Therefore, I have to believe that adult males are at a point in their lives where they are ready to start a family––to have a wife and kids. What does this have to do with liking MLP? Well, one would assume that in order for a man to become a father, he must develop a softer, caring demeanor. Also, older males are more confident with their masculinity, and not afraid of being ostracized for watching a “girly” show. On the other hand, male teens face many social pressures and are perhaps afraid of being judged by their peers for watching a show about bright-colored ponies. A weaker argument, and one that’s not necessarily true, is that older men tend to be more mature(d), and therefore interested in the story rather than bloody fights or massive jugs. What I mean to say is that they don’t mind the lack of ecchi. In fact, most Bronies say outright on the Internet NOT to make Rule 34 for MLP. Well, curiosity got the better of me, and I looked up just to see what would be considered as Pony Rule 34 (since they obviously have no visible private parts), and most of what I came across was just comical demotivational posters and mild mare-on-mare kissing. So it seems like for the most part the Internet has respected the Bronies’ request.

Despite Hasbro being well aware of all the Bronies out there (0:27), for whatever reason, they don’t cater much to their peripheral fans––missing out on a potential goldmine––even though they’ve claimed plans to market to this older demographic in the near future. The ironic thing about their passive marketing strategy is that 90% of their viewership is comprised of adult males. As much as we Bronies love MLP, it’s obvious that we hold higher standards for our merchandise than the average elementary school girl. I just wish the products would match the quality of the show. Hopefully Hasbro will pay better attention to our requests once Season 2 starts picking up momentum. It’s a win-win situation. Hasbro will dominate with MLP the same way they’ve gained dominance with Transformers, and Bronies will get a bunch of cool pony products that we won’t be ashamed to show off in public.

Modern Warfare 3 My Little Ponies Crossover C’mon, you know you would buy it.

MLP means so much to me because I see it as the start of a revolution. The pony fan base continues to grow larger and larger every month, proving that Friendship is Magic is not just a fad, it’s become a whole subculture. Just as blacks earned the same rights as whites, and women began to stand on equal footing with men in the 20th century, it’s the year 2011: it’s time to tear down all preconceptions that guys can’t like girls’ shows for what they are, or vise versa. In the future, I hope that everything will become ambiguous, that designing clothes won’t be considered a thing for women and football will not just be a “guys’ sport”. We are not quite there yet, but MLP is a start. So, for any producers out there, don’t be lazy by appealing to your target demographic; as they say, “Aim higher.”

Further reading: http://taikutsuremedy.blogspot.com/2011/09/gender-based-marketing-time-for.html

About MkMiku

Just a neko expressing what's on my mind. Nya~
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16 Responses to Targeting a Different Demographic

  1. Nopy says:

    Another possibility: it could be open protest to the widespread violence and trolling that goes on. Personally though, I just don’t see the appeal of these ponies other than their big anime-like eyes.

    • MkMiku says:

      True. Some people might just appreciate the good-nature of the show, and instead of actively seeking out and starting flame wars with trolls, they confide in their fandom of a peaceful show like MLP in order to spread their message across the Internet.

      The first two pilot episodes are the worst, imo, which is why some people may get the wrong idea about the show. It’s not so much the look of the ponies that are appealing, although I must admit they are snazzy compared to their former counterparts, but the jokes and character interactions (plus lessons about life and friendship). For being a kids’ show, they act very human-like.

      • Overlord-G says:

        Hmm, if you hated the 1st two pilot episodes, I wonder if you felt the same after watching the season 2 2 parter.

        • MkMiku says:

          I felt EXACTLY the same with Season 2. MLP doesn’t work well for me as an adventure story. It’s better suited as a slice-of-life with the ponies interacting amongst each other. I’m more interested in their diverse personalities than the cliché “Oh, let’s band together and use our magical powers to dispel evil!” It’s been done so many time before, especially in stereotypical kids’ shows. MLP is better than that–that’s why I tell people not to judge the show by its first two episodes.

  2. Overlord-G says:

    My philosophy is that as long as I have a friend I can talk about the show with, I could care less what others think about my pony fandom. Besides, I have more important things to do than busting heads of people who refuse to stop teasing me. Thankfully my campus neighbors respect me enough to not question my tastes.

    • MkMiku says:

      Lol. Indeed. Any fan of the show can tell you that those who despise it don’t know what they are missing out on. But the main point of this post is that you shouldn’t be ashamed of liking something just because archaic gender roles and stereotypes say you shouldn’t. MLP is proof that a good show can appeal to any gender and any age. I hope people take this message to heart and know that being a Brony isn’t being deviant, but that you have an appreciation for quality work.

      I can truthfully tell you that MLP is the only “girls’ cartoon” I’ve ever liked. And many females, including Lauren Faust herself, would agree.

  3. atvrcr says:

    Ok after reading this I decided to check out a couple episodes. I have to say the show is pretty entertaining surprisingly. I never thought I would see the day when someone could ask me what I was doing and I could respond, “Oh nothing, just watching My Little Pony.” lol

    • MkMiku says:

      Haha. XD That’s great that you like it. I feel the exact same way. I never thought I’d have to decide between going to sleep or watching My Little Pony. It’s that addictive.

  4. kiddtic says:

    I watched about 5 episodes its Lauren Faust its goo stuff, just not for me. I like how the older male community has ‘come out’ and said they love the show, this may be totally unrelated but I hope it shows western anime distributors that if they can market a show right, they can garner huge bucks for moe shows.

  5. Will says:

    Personally, I place this show in the same category as Adventure Land. From a glance, it might look like a generic kid show, but it is fact one hell of an entertaining one for grown ups.

  6. Will says:

    Yes, yes, Adventure Time. Somehow my mind crossed with that not so funny movie : Adventureland.

  7. I do not see any reason why not a grown man or anyone up in age can not enjoy a show like “My Little Pony” opposed to something more edgy and sharp like “Hellsing”. Everyone was once a child and I believe as you grow older you never let go of that child-like spirit so to speak – especially true when you have children of your own. If you can find some enjoyment in shows like that when you are older, it is not necessarily terrible, but more of helps you make connections to your own childhood of what was “in” or “out” back then or what you seen in something as a childhood. Really nothing to be ashamed about, even though I rarely have time or try to revisit childhood memories.

    Besides that, demographic age ranges only speak toward a specific group (either by age, gender, etc) a product or idea is directed toward that group, so it does not necessarily translate that people outside that range can not take enjoyment in whatever that directed thing is.

  8. Pingback: 12 Days: Day (Mane) 6 | Ambivalence , or is it ambiguity?

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