Barbie is cementing its position as a purpose-led brand with the launch of a global campaign raising awareness around the factors that prevent girls from dreaming as big as their male friends and classmates.
Sitting under the banner ‘The Dream Gap Project’, the multi-year initiative will target both adults and children.
It launches with a digital spot that features a diverse range of young girls highlighting key findings from academic research on the dream gap phenomenon. These include the fact that girls are less likely than boys to view their own gender as smart from the age of five.
The brand will further the research by funding associate professor Andrei Cimpian of New York University to complete a two-year post-doctoral fellowship on this issue. Barbie will also work with local researchers to extend the studies.
On the consumer front, the Mattel brand has committed to creating a series of ‘impactful content’ that will provide adults with resources on how to support the girls in their lives, as well as promising to put ‘at least’ 10 empowering female role models in the spotlight per year.
It will also continue to use ‘Barbie Vlogger’ as a teaching tool. The digital avatar has already starred in YouTube advice videos on subjects such as bullying, feeling sad and inspiring historic women, which sit alongside more mainstream content such as ‘What’s in my bag?’ videos.
Lisa McKnight, general manager and senior vice president at Barbie, said: "Since 1959, Barbie has inspired the limitless potential in every girl and we believe that empowering them at a young age is a catalyst to unlocking their full potential.
“The goal of the Dream Gap Project is to leverage Barbie's global platforms to educate society on gender biases and inspire any supporter of girls to join us as we can't do this alone."
BBDO San Francisco is leading creative on the Dream Gap Project.
In Australia, Barbie recently created dolls in jobs that have never been held before by women: chairman of the AFL, commissioner of the Australian Federal Police, governor of the Australian Reserve Bank, head of ASIO, president of the Australian Olympic Committee and first woman on the Moon.