Interrupting football with some Barbie time
When you say Barbie, the first thing that comes to mind (after the Aqua song) is girls. Everyone immediately assumes and associates girls playing with Barbies. Sure Ken was there, but it was more along the lines of compensating Barbie’s ‘need’ for a Knight. Sometimes mothers would play with their daughters but when it came to fathers, it was all about teaching football to their sons. But breaking this stereotype is the commercial from Mattel. How so? Because it shows fathers playing with Barbies for their daughters.
The commercial tries to subvert gender roles by showing how fathers play an important role in helping their daughters grow up as confident women. The time that they spend with their daughters instead of watching football teaches that gender roles are nothing more than a social construct.
Playing doctor-patient, yoga instructor or an astronaut, these Barbies are a reflection of what these girls would want to be. And when the fathers join them, it makes them feel even more appreciated. A small investment in their imaginary world means investment in their actual world.
The moments filmed are totally unscripted and feature real families so that the message is not lost out on the audience.
This is not the first attempt at using Barbie to dismantle stereotypes. Audi also did the same by showing a Barbie which drives an Audi.