Creative Director’s Choice: Carissa Mak from Connelly Partners on Hasbro's play campaign
Creative Director’s Choice gives creative directors a chance to highlight the work they think is the best out in the ad world — the ads and campaigns they believe are making a difference.
Ogilvy Brazil's Hasbro play ad
This week, Carissa Mak, creative director at Connelly Partners, talks about Ogilvy Brazil and Hasbro’s ‘We All Can Take Care’ campaign that celebrates boys and girls both playing with dolls.
Growing up, I don’t ever remember my parents forcing certain toys on me or my siblings. Of course, I had my share of Barbies, My Little Ponies and Care Bears (hey, it was the '80s), but I also played just as much with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Matchbox cars. And my brother even had a babydoll that he lovingly named “Skyscraper.” We never thought twice about what types of toys we should be playing with, we just played. It’s that exact notion that Hasbro and Ogilvy bring to life with their spot for Baby Alive, ‘We All Can Take Care.’
Why is it that only girls should play with dolls? I love how this sweet spot so nonchalantly asks that question. It casually shows boys and girls playing with dolls – rather than making it into some over-the-top, look-at-us social experiment. Kids just want to play, and they don’t have any gender or societal constraints in mind. And this ad is a simple reminder of that fact. Instead of pointing out all the reasons why boys should play with dolls, it just shows how a doll can aid any child in developing their sense of responsibility, empathy and respect. Subtlety is the hero here. So often we’re focused on the splashiest idea in this industry, but this is a great example of a quieter spot that builds off of a timely and powerful insight to drive change. And bravo to Ogilvy and Hasbro for this. They’re not creating work in a vacuum, they’re actually listening to what society needs right now
Just last week, after we saw an ad for a glittered unicorn on TV, I asked my three-year-old if he would like it (curious as to what he would say). He responded, “that’s a girl toy.” It shocked me that a little boy who still calls tools “toodles” could already have a gender stereotype about a toy. You bet I’ll be playing him this ad as just one way to show him that this isn’t the case.
Carissa Mak is Creative Director at independent agency Connelly Partners.
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