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.