Ad of the Week – Barbie
Last weekend I was scrolling through the TV Guide on our new Virgin box, having a look at what new channels we have. In the top right corner the minimised TLC ad break was running and caught my eye.
I can assume that the targeting was young women/young mothers watching shows like ‘Say yes to the dress’ etc., who have young daughters. Apparently this ad has been around for about 2 years, but this is the first time I’ve seen it.
The ad started with a girl, around 9 years old, in a lecture theatre, teaching adults about the human brain. The mature students appeared to be slightly bemused and amused that their teacher was a child. It was an intriguing ad and I couldn’t work out what brand it was for. I was pleasantly surprised when the end scene revealed the little girl playing out the same scene with her Barbie dolls.
I think it’s a clever re-imagining from Barbie, considering the growing negative associations in recent years – mainly around the body image implications for young girls and gender/intellect stereotypes. But as long as the dolls remain thin, unrealistically long legged and with glossy long hair, I’m not sure Barbie will succeed in getting all parents to re-evaluate the toys – though the new narrative might help show the positive role Barbie can have in imaginative play.
The tagline itself gives a very strong and positive message, and hopefully that is something that young girls will pick up on and translate to their own play and outlook: We can be anything.
Here’s the longer version of the ad where the little girls are also vets, football coaches and business women, the 30s was only the university lecturer.
Media Account Manager