Blog and Ideas
November 25, 2015
By Sylvia McNamee

Breaking Boundaries with Boys and Barbie?

Was featuring a boy in a Barbie ad as groundbreaking as it seemed?

Breaking Boundaries with Boys and Barbie?

The internet has been buzzing with the news that for the first time since 1959 when Mattel introduced the Barbie doll, a boy has been prominently featured in an advertising campaign. The company has been criticized in the past for perpetuating gender stereotypes in advertising, so this appeared like a groundbreaking marketing choice… but was it?

The specific Barbie is a limited edition created in conjunction with luxury Italian fashion house, Moschino, who also worked with Mattel to create the 30 second ad spot which features a little boy with a mohawk exclaiming, “Moschino Barbie is so fierce!”

Retailing at $150 USD the Moschino Barbie sold out in less than a day and the ad has gone viral on the internet, however, it may not be as “groundbreaking” as it first seems. The ad will not be televised and is hosted on Moschino’s YouTube channel, but not on official Mattel sites.

So should this move by Mattel be praised or is it a half-hearted attempt to change gender stereotypes in advertising? Leave us your comments below.

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