Over the past few years, Mattel has been doing a lot of work to modernize the brand and change the way we view gender. Lately, the brand has been trying to empower girls by fostering their imaginations and aspirations. Now, the brand is attempting to break gender roles and stereotypes as well–their new campaign that shows dads playing Barbie with their daughters.
The “Dads Who Play Barbie” campaign, aired this past weekend during the NFL playoffs. In the video, the dad says how “Barbie time” is necessary for him and his daughter:
“You would do anything, anything to make her happy.”
After he says that, we hear him talk in a high-pitched voice as he plays Barbie with his daughter. It’s pretty awesome. Kristina Duncan, the vp of global marketing communications at Barbie, told AdFreak that the campaign is real, as it features six real dads and their daughters:
“We looked for families that consumers could not only relate to in one way or another, but that had a true and honest connection between them. These play moments were completely unscripted, so throughout the campaign you will see imaginations run wild, genuinely funny moments, and of course the sweet tender connections between these dads and their daughters.”
The commercial has been resonating with many dads too. For instance, Matt Miller, executive creative director at BBDO San Francisco (the agency that worked with Mattel), echoes this sentiment himself, stating:
“When our brilliant creative team, Rachel Kelly and Taylor Garrett, first showed this idea, I immediately fell in love with it. Not only is it a perfect expression of Barbie’s purpose of helping girls imagine all their possibilities, I could see myself in it. I grew up with four brothers, no sisters, so I never had Barbie in the house. Despite that, now that I have a 3-year-old daughter, I often find myself on the floor with her, Barbie in hand.
Those are truly amazing moments where I get see her imagination in action. One day we’re doctors, the next we’re sisters, the next we’re fighting off ninjas. This body of work celebrates the incredible moments that every dad can have with his daughter if he’s just willing to pick up a Barbie.”
Promoting close bonding and healthy relationships between fathers and daughters isn’t just a marketing ploy either. Fostering supportive and communicative dad-daughter relationships helps girls grow up to be more self-confident, according to Dr. Linda Nielsen of Wake Forest University. She stated:
“We think it’s important to shine a spotlight on all of the role models in a young girl’s life that help to build self-worth and self-confidence, including men.”
Watch the video below: