When you think of Barbie, you probably don’t think of feminism or female empowerment. If anything, you probably think of all the ways Barbie reinforces unhealthy stereotypes about women’s bodies. Mattel, however, is looking to throw that stereotype in the trash, where it belongs.
Like every major company these days, Mattel is rebranding Barbie with a new advertising campaign. The goal is to show little girls that women aren’t just eye candy, but intelligent people who can make a positive difference in any field they choose. Evelyn Mazzocco, global svp and general manager of Barbie, told Adweek:
“We want to remind the world what Barbie stands for. Founded by a female entrepreneur and mother in 1959, the Barbie brand has always represented the fact that women have choices. This ongoing initiative is designed to remind today’s parents that through the power of imagination, Barbie allows girls to explore their limitless potential.”
The two minute video, which is featured below, shows girls acting as teachers, doctors, and businesswomen (as opposed to, you know, Ken’s girlfriend). By finally modernizing Barbie (and in many ways, going back to Barbie’s creator’s intentions), Mattel is not only changing the way dolls will be marketed to kids as a whole, but the toy industry in general. Imagine if toys were marketed towards aspirational goals more than gender norms. We’re totally on board for that.
And besides being empowering, the ad is actually pretty enjoyable–and funny! Who doesn’t get a kick out of watching a little girl coach professional football? And that, folks, is the power of effective advertising. Because now, we kind of like Barbie again.
Don’t forget to watch Mattel’s new Barbie ad below–so that you don’t have to feel bad about buying your kids a Doctor Barbie: