Monday, May 01, 2006

Product positioning places power in Peach

GameSetWatch points to this very interesting post on Toybane. Apparently, the US release of the Super Princess Peach game included a makeover of the box. According to the post, the purpose of the redo was to decrease the blantantly sexist Japanese spin on the Princess and give her an empowered American woman treatment (noting the Mario that needs to be saved in the US version).

Just by looking at the two images, I'd have to agree. I haven't played the game itself, where the Princess apparently does do some butt kicking, but I'd have to say that US marketers definitely got a hold of it.

Frankly, you just can't get away with the "Princess in distress" schtick anymore. Since the early 90's, princesses like Ariel, Jasmine and Fiona have done just fine by themselves, thank you very much. In fact, all those cute pink fluffy "Princess in training" or just plain "Princess" articles you buy for little girls are not so much about being dainty as they are about empowerment. These girls are saying, I'm a Princess, get the f' out of my face.

I'm going to go out on a chauvinistic limb here but frankly, I miss the Princess in distress. Why are archetypes that bad? Look, life is complicated, I need archetypes. They give me order and frames of reference. Unfortunately, we have killed all the archetypes. I can't strive to be a knight in the shining armor anymore. Because the knight became the unacceptable pillaging, raping man-beast of today.

You know what? Sometimes, I just like checking off boxes. Sometimes I just want to open a car door and be appreciated for being gentlemanly. Sometimes, I just want to order dinner for both of us and not be judged. Sometimes, I just want to be a simple man.

Can we let the Princess be the Princess? I miss the old Princess.

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