Friday, January 27, 2017

If Mom's won't love Barbie, what about Dad's?

Full disclosure, I played with Barbie dolls growing up and would have no problem letting my kids play with them.

In Fall 2015, when Mattel launched a new campaign focusing on empowerment, I posted this blog and you can see my students didn't have a problem with Barbie either.  Plus they loved the commercial as did I.

Since the company has said that Barbie's worldwide sales were up 16% in the last quarter vs. previous year, I am a bit surprised that they are walking away from this strategy so quickly, and are instead reaching out to Dads. (Mahoney, 2017) 

While there is no doubt that men are doing far more parenting than they used to, I never played dolls with either of my parents, so the commercials strike me as contrived.  And the idea of turning halftime into playtime reminded me of an old Scotts Turf-Builder spot that urged men to use the break to run out and fertilize their lawns.  Yeah, like that worked.

Overall I find the campaign far less empowering than the previous one, more about dads playing with their daughters than empowering them, which is a missed opportunity.  Real dads want their daughters to be CEO's.

Check out the spot here and see what you think...

Mahoney, S. (2017, January 24)  With New CEO Aboard, Mattel Aims Barbie At Dads.  Retrieved January 27, 2017, from

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