“You Can Be Anything”

“You Can Be Anything”

In 2015 Barbie revolutionized their brand with a new marketing campaign known as “You Can Be Anything.” After being reprimanded and criticized for their dolls’ disproportionate and unrealistic bodies, Barbie decided to go back to their original company initiative of selling a doll that would encourage girls to imagine a future including all possibilities. Juliana Chugg, chief brand officer of Barbie stated, “We changed the conversation by focusing on how we change the perception about Barbie, the power of Barbie doesn’t lie in the shape of her body, but in the imagination of the girl who plays with her.” The initial commercial of the campaign was titled, “Imagine the Possibilities” and depicts several girls acting in the place of a college professor, a men’s soccer coaches, a veterinarian, a paleontologist, and an executive. In the end of the video it flashes from a scene of a young girl teaching a college class to the same girl creating a classroom setting with her Barbie as the professor.

Barbie now has dolls in outfits of each professional represented in the commercial. After this campaign Barbie, who’s stock had previously been down 40%, found itself up 23% and landed on the cover of Time Magazine. Barbie has come up with many spin off ads, but the original “Imagine the Possibilities” advertisement has more than 25 million views on Youtube, obtaining a huge campaign reach.

In 2017 Barbie created another ad titled #DadsWhoPlayBarbie that aired during the NFL playoffs. This showed fathers supporting their daughters and the idea that they can do anything, flashing the message “You Can Be Anything” in the final seconds of the ad. Barbie is not only improving their brand perception but also appealing to the purchasers of these dolls, mothers and fathers. It will be interesting to see how Barbie markets their product as the world continues to progress and evolve.

How Barbie’s Makeover Brought the Brand Into the 21st Century

Stephanie Bippert

Stephanie Bippert

January 23, 2018at 3:02 pm

I love both of those videos. I think that the direction that Barbie is going is a great example of how consumer preferences have changed over the years. This example really shows how important the overall message of a campaign is and that it can significantly impact a company’s sales and the conversations and opinions consumers have about the brand. By changing their message to something positive, heart felt and encouraging, Barbie has successfully grabbed hold of consumers attention again and got people talking about them in a positive light again. When these commercials first came out social media sites were blowing up with people sharing videos of the commercials and it seemed like everyone was talking about how much they loved the Barbie brand. Since changing their overall message in 2015 I have only seen a handful of Barbie ads, but maybe there will be another commercial that airs during the super bowl in a few weeks! I can’t wait to see what they come up with next!

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